Friday, October 30, 2009

"A Day At The Park"

A Day At The Park

"A Day At The Park"
©David A. Ziser

This is one of my favorite images of the week. Not just because it’s a nice portrait of the bride but, because of how the bride was illuminated.  One of the class members held a Quantum Trio directly behind the bride to add the accent light to the veil. The Trio was fired remotely with my FreeWire radio attached to my camera.  Here is where it gets interesting.  I had another class member hold a 42” Westcott Illuminator to camera right.  I zoomed my flash to 105mm, pointed it at the reflector and fired away.  The illumination on the front of the bride is the result of the flash bouncing off the reflector and coming in at just the right angle to create the beautiful and flattering light on the bride. Nothing like a little
“Photon Ricochet“ to light the subject. Camera specs; Canon 7D fitted with 24-105mm IS lens at 82mm, F4.0 @ 1/200 second, ISO 200.  Enjoy!  -David

Friday: Wrapping Up The Week

Good Morning Everybody,

I’m at the keyboard early this morning because I know that after we wrap my Master Class today LaDawn and I are just going to
“chill” a bit and enjoy the beautiful fall scenery we are experiencing this year.

DAZ Class F09 I have to say, we have had a great class this week.  Feedback from the class is that everyone really liked the new format.  We will read all the comment sheets from this week’s attendees, gather additional input from the “coaches” at our wrap up meeting early this afternoon. Then we will tweak where necessary, and see if we can make the upcoming Spring Master Class April 26 –30, 2010 - even better. My thanks to everyone who attended this week’s class, my team from the studio, the coaches and assistants that  shared their knowledge and expertise to further enhance the Master Class experience and made it such a good time.

Next week look for a image wrap up of the week too. BTW, don’t you love the picture of the class this time around.  I thought, heck, the class is mostly about lighting so let’s really show all the strobes firing;~)  Our class picture was taken by Jesica Bruzzi from B&H who came by as a consultant for a few days this week. Thanks Jesica for a great shot.

I hope out DPT readers didn’t mind me veering off our normal topic agenda too.  I just thought a peek into what was going on this week with new cameras and LR3 betas could be pretty darn helpful. We’ll get back to our normal schedule next week – including the MIA Technique Tuesday episode.

And speaking of next week, can you believe it, we head out on our last leg of my Digital WakeUp Call Tour.  We are heading to Raleigh, N.C. on Monday, Charlotte, N.C. on Tuesday, Columbia, S.C on Wednesday, and wrapping the week in Atlanta on Thursday. 

Digital WakeUp Call1We have 10 cities to go. Here is the list of remaining dates right here. We hope to see you there!

Hey gang, I do have a few items I want to remark on today, so let’s get right to it.

Just A Few More Notes On The Canon 7D

After Wednesday’s post [link], I received lots of comments about the camera’s dark previews in Lightroom 3 Beta.  Thanks to all who commented and offered insights into the issue.

I too believe it’s a LR3 issue.  Class members were having the same problem this week with the LR3 beta some were using in class.  I heard comments like, “It looked good coming in then the preview turned dark.”  That indicates to me that LR3 beta is just posting a preview that represents it’s best guess as to what the image should look like.

The Lightroom team has literally built version 3 from the ground up so when running the beta I don’t expect things to be perfect.  Adobe did a good job with LR2, so I suspect when LR3 ships we are all going to be quite happy.

I’m going to give some of the suggestions from our readers a try and see what happens. BTW, I found it most interesting when I read Wink’s comment referencing the link to site. [link] Their review reports that their testing shows the camera is exposing 1/3 stop darker than other camera bodies. Hummm…  We’ll see what the next firmware brings.

7D 3 Cs Oh, one more feature I love on the 7D! THREE, count them, three custom settings that the user can set.  The 40D had 3, the 50D only had two, but the 5d Mark II had 3 so I’m glad to see Canon put 3 back on the 7D.  This feature comes in real handy when you need to change to a completely different set of settings during the heat of the wedding shoot.  It’s like having 3 cameras in one. I love it!

Another great feature on the 7D is the “My Menu Settings” feature.  The camera lets you add your most used menu choices all in one place so you can get to them quickly when need be.  No more drilling down through all the myriad choices to get to the one you want.  Now everything you use everyday is listed in just one place. Another – very cool!

More On Lightroom 3 BETA – The Dreaded Import Feature

Lightroom This is a quick one folks, I took a peek at the import function once again and still am not impressed. I decided to add 4300 images from a wedding to my catalogue.  As usual, LR3 beta wanted to populate the screen with all the previews.  My best guess it that it would have taken several minutes to accomplish the task. I waited 15 minutes and LR3 still had a long way to go.

While it was populating the images, I hit “Select None” then had to scroll endlessly to find the blank icons that represented the 3 images I wanted to import.  I checked them and in a short while, they popped into my catalogue.  All I want to see is the file list – who cares about seeing 4300 thumbnails! On a real job, they are all coming in anyway!

I then tried to import just one image from another folder.  LR3 spent minutes creating the file list telling me it was “Finding files.” Then it was “Loading dates…”, then it was “Loading dates and thumbnails…”  Stop, stop – just pull out my fingernails, it would be less painful.

Maybe I’m over-reacting a bit, but the new import functionality is just no fun, time consuming and nearly impractical for day-to-day use. Don’t get me wrong – I know I’m coming across maybe slightly negative ;~) but I still love the new features in LR3.  And, yes, I plan to hang in here with LR3 a bit longer, dig under the hood, and just see what this baby will do.

Hey gang, that’s it for me today.  We wrap the class today and, can you believe it, we pack the van tomorrow and head out Sunday for Raleigh, N.C. Yep, we’re driving . LaDawn and I love seeing America.

Everybody have a great weekend.  I hope your little pixels get lots of goodies on Halloween.  I’ll see ya’ Monday in Raleigh. 

On the road again, -David

Thursday, October 29, 2009

"Amber Glow"

Amber Glow "Amber Glow"
©David A. Ziser

Here is another image made during yesterday’s shoot.  I found this great location where the textures and colors of the grasses proved a perfect background for this shot.  There were a lot of beautiful spots in the park for pictures but this one turned out to be one of my favorites.  I had to shoot around some large power units which the park had disguised in these grasses, but that was not a problem.  The image is a straight forward outdoor portrait of a bride.  I balanced the light – a strobe through my Zumbrella - coming from camera left with the ambient.  I underexposed the ambient just a bit to bring out the flattering direction of light on my subject.  The grasses not only added texture and color to the background, but a little implied motion as well.  The large aperture softened the background substantially so as not to distract form the subject. All these elements came together for a beautiful portrait of our bride. Camera specs; Canon 7D fitted with  70-200mm F2.8 IS lens at 85mm, F3.5 @ 1/200 second, ISO 100.  Enjoy!  -David

P.S. I’ll get the rest of today’s post up early this afternoon.  -David

Thursday: More On Canon 7D and Lightroom 3 BETA

Good Afternoon Everybody,

Man, it’s a little tougher to get the blog up during Master Class week, but I’m still giving it a try today. 

The dubious weather cooperated yesterday and we had a great day shooting at the park and the Drees Pavilion overlook.  It was a long day with us beginning at 9 a.m. and wrapping about 8 p.m.  The models were troopers, too, and we got some fantastic images.

DAY 2bLooks for lots of material for upcoming blog posts.  Anyway, let me push on with some more observations about the Canon 7D and Lightroom 3 BETA.

More about Canon 7D

That’s for all the comments on yesterday’s post trying to explain the darkness of the Lightroom 3 BETA previews from the Canon 7D.  I think it’s a Lightroom/Raw issue, too.  The previews on the back of the camera are small JPEG previews that don’t carry over to LR3 Beta – all we get to see is the RAW data.  I’ve found that pushing the Brightness to +75 and reducing the Contrast to 0 helps.

It got pretty dark on us last night and I was impressed that the 7D nailed the FOCUS – thumbs up on that one!

DAY 2aI found a much easier and quicker way to shoot video as well.  While looking through the viewfinder, I focus on the scene I want to video.  As I pull the camera from my eye, I switch the 7D into Video mode and immediately hit the record button. This is much quicker than switching the camera to video mode, finding the focus, and then shooting.  More on that later.

I’m also very satisfied with the low noise performance of the camera. Any noise you see is nice and tight and almost film like.

And Now On With Lightroom 3 BETA

Now on to Lightroom – has anyone else found the cropping to be a little quirky?  The crop rectangle jumps around a bit even when I hold down the ‘Shift’ key.

My biggest gripe about Lightroom 3 BETA is, hands down, the NEW IMPORT procedure.  Under Lightroom 2 you just headed to the image folder, selected the images and hit IMPORT.

It took me 10 minutes last evening just to get 150 images into Lightroom 3 BETA.  The new version wants to load all the file structures, populate the screen with preview images, which take forever, makes me deselect the ones I don’t want to import, an on, and on, and on.  What a time waster! 

Adobe will need to fix this one quick.  I can see trying to load up a 3000 image wedding!!!!

Hey gang, I just checked the clock and I’ve got to fly – class starts in a few.  See ya’ tomorrow.  -David

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

"Standing Alone"

Standing Alone

"Standing Alone" 
©David A. Ziser

I made this image - kind of an urban portrait -  yesterday during my Master Class shoot.  It’s probably my favorite shot of the day.  I like the two windows flanking the groom.  Their blank emptiness seem to enhance the feeling of the aloneness of the subject that I sense in this shot. Yet the soft shadow cast on the back wall suggests a mysterious presence in the scene.  Lighting was from camera right with my Quantum shooting through my Zumbrella.  Since I was shooting faster than the native sync speed, I had to turn the camera upside down to keep my subject in the flash sync part of the viewfinder, hence the slight vignetting at the top of the image.  Camera specs: Canon 7d fitted with 18-200mm IS lens at 24mm, F5.6 @ 1/400 second, ISO 200.  Enjoy!  -David

p.s. Hey gang, look for the rest of the post later today.  I’m running late for class.  See ya’ after lunch.  -David

What’s Happening Wednesday: Lots – Quick Observations About The Canon 7D and LR3

Good Afternoon Everybody,

The class is off to a great start and everyone seems to like the new concept – lots of models and lots of coaches.  I have to say, it’s a great way to ramp up the leaning curve for the attendees.

We reviewed images today and the class had some wonderful images to share.

DAZMCF09 1 So what else happened yesterday?  Some BIG surprises!!! We got home last night about 8 o’clock in the evening.  The first thing I did was grab the card and load up the images into Lightroom 3 BETA.

I was stoked to see the images I had shot, too.  The images loaded across the screen, the previews gradually populated my entire desktop. There they were – I couldn't wait to peek at my “real” images (not vacation shots) taken with the new Canon7D.

Then surprise of surprises, images looked great on the back of the camera but were a lot darker on my monitor – what gives?  With the 40D what I got on the camera’s LCD, I saw on the monitor. 

DAZMCF09 2Part of the problem may have been that I had the camera’s LCD brightness turned all the way up so we could view the images outside more easily.  I’m hoping that was the only issue and the reason everything appeared so dark on my monitor.

I had mentioned on Monday, that when I loaded up my (vacation) images from the 7D over the last few weeks that everything looked great in LR3 BETA.  We are out again for an all day shoot in just a few minutes so I’ll research the matter even further.  Hopefully I’ll have more news tomorrow for you.

I know a lot of folks are concerned about the noise performance of the 7D.  Noise, or lack of it seems to be a nice 7D trait – not as good as the Canon5D Mark II, but MUCH better than the 50D.  I think the 7D does just fine in the noise department.

DAZMCF09 3Another thing about the 7D – boy, those images sure look “pretty” at 18 megapixels.  I printed up five 24x36 images for the class this morning and they looked great!

Another thing I loved about the camera was the dead-on focus.  Man with the high pixel count those 24x36’s are tack SHARP!

After today’s shooting, I’ll be able to put together a more definitive list of observations that I’ll plan on sharing with everybody next week.  I’ve got a few things I want to try regarding the images brightness issue, too. This by the way, may be more of of LR3 BETA issue than a Canon 7D issue.  I plan to get to the bottom of it – I’ll keep you posted.

I know, I know – what about yesterday's Technique Tuesday? Too much to do – at least during class week, and too little time.  I’ll finish it up over the weekend and post it next week.

Hey gang, I’ve got to get scootin’ – class starts in just a few minutes.  Adios, -David

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

"Vegas Girl"

Vegas Girl

"Vegas Girl" 
©David A. Ziser

This image was taken in the Mandalay Bay Resort as part of a training session I was doing for Photoshop World a few years ago.  I'll tell you, put a pretty girl in a fabulous location and it's hard to go wrong.  I love the striking architecture of the background which I enhanced even more with a wide angle lens on my camera.  Overall, this is a straight forward shot with lighting coming in from camera right with my off-camera strobe firing through a shoot through umbrella.  Slowing down the shutter to pick up the detail of the surrounds added to the warmth of the shot. Camera specs; Canon 5D fitted with 24-105mm IS lens at 24mm, F5.0 @ 1/20 second handheld, ISO 800.  Enjoy!  -David

Technique Tuesday: Recession Flash - Poor Man's Lighting Set Up

Good Morning Everybody,

International We kicked off my Master Class yesterday with photogs coming in from around the country, including Hawaii, Arizona, and even one attendee traveling down from Barrie, Canada.  Once more, we have an international symposium of photographers gathered together for a great week of learning and fun;~)

We had everyone over to our home/studio last night for our Welcome Party just to relax, share and get to know each other.  Thanks to my team for pulling off a wonderful evening and dinner.

Today we head out to photograph at two of my favorite locations in the city - the Cincinnati Club (who's image is that on their splash page?) and the beautiful Mother Of God Church.  This should be kind of fun today because of the diversity of the locations.  I'm looking forward to all of us capturing some great shots.   

Technique Tuesday: Recession Flash - Poor Man's Lighting Set Up

I was up bright and early this morning to get today's Technique Tuesday up and running before I headed to class.  Well, things took a bit longer that expected and the video isn't going to be rendered in time for me to get it up before I leave. 

So, I’m going to Plan B. Just to keep all my Technique Tuesday fans happy, I’m posting a repeat episode of one of my favorites. Just think of it as a re-release of one of my Golden Hits. I think you will enjoy it. It was a big favorite first time around.

Tomorrow, the planned video for today should be up and running.  It's a double feature by the way, so you won't want to miss it. Anyway, hit the Play button below and enjoy the show!

Hey everybody, that's it for me today.  I got class starting in under an hour and I don't want to be late.  Check out the video and I'll see everybody tomorrow.  Adios, -David

Monday, October 26, 2009

"City Reflections"

City Reflections-IMG_0487-Edit-Edit

 "City Reflections" 
©David A. Ziser

I captured this image while relaxing in the middle of Times Square about 3 weeks ago. LaDawn and I decided to take a few minutes and just people watch. The clouds blocking the sun moved out of the way for just a few minutes allowing the suns rays to glance off the building to the right. I liked the sharp dramatic shapes of the building and the strong reflection off it's smooth surfaces. The clear blue sky added to this simple visual urban statement. Camera specs; Canon 7D fitted with 18-200mm IS lens at 50mm, F16 @ 1/640 second, ISO 250.  Post processing of the Canon 7D's RAW file done in Lightroom 3 BETA and PS4.  Enjoy!  -David

Quick Hit Monday: Canon 7D Noise - What Noise? Test Driving Lightroom 3 BETA; Ink-Jet Will Last Forever - Well Almost

Good Morning Everybody,

Sony Vaio Hey, I've got some good items to report on today.  First, I pulled the trigger on a new Sony Vaio Windows 7 laptop so I'll keep you posted on the trials and tribulations of getting everything set up on the new machine and breaking in Microsoft's new operating system - everybody keeps telling me Windows 7 is the OS to beat … we'll see. 

I also have my Master Class kicking off today so let me get right to the good stuff.

Canon 7D Noise - What Noise?

Boy, that was my first impression when I took a peek at some of the early images out of my 7D which I've been traveling with these last two weeks.  Granted, I haven't done any definitive testing with the camera yet - that will happen this week during class. But, some of the early tests looked very, very good when I brought them up in Lightroom 3 BETA.

CAnon 7D-2 AHHH, you say, Lightroom 3 Beta loads up Canon 7D images.  Yes, Virginia, it does - more on that later. Anyway, even when zoomed in nice and close, I was pretty surprised by what little noise I saw in the images.  That's my first quick take - like I said, more to come later this week.

Canon 5D Mk II Lot's of people would like me to do a comparison on the noise of the Canon 5D Mark II vs. The Canon 7D. Since I haven't gotten around to that yet - tours, classes, and things you know - let me point you towards a site who has a done a side by side comparison of the two cameras. 

Here is the link to right here who has comparison images all the way up to ISO 12,800 posted. Sure, the 5D MkII bests the 7D and the higher ISOs, but the 7D still looks good to 3200. Anyway, check out the images. Just click on them to see the hi-res version.

Test Driving Lightroom 3 BETA

Yep, I downloaded LR3 Beta and fired it up yesterday.  You know, I've been all over the web looking to see if LR2.5 supported my brand new Canon 7D RAW files. Some people said yes, and some, including Adobe said no.

I can get LR2.5 to import the 7D RAW images one at a time but always with a error message. Heck, I've got my class starting and want to use Lightroom for the image processing.  That prompted the LR3 download and install.

LR3 BETAAfter taking a few minutes getting used to the slightly different import dialogue, I hit the import button and in came every 7D RAW file I had shot over the last two weeks. Whew!  I'm saved for the Master Class! 

There's quite a lot to like in the new version - excellent noise reduction, better vignetting, cool web sharing features - just to name a few.

Something else I noticed too, is that the LR3 preview images seem to look a lot better too.  I know that sounds weird to say.  But, I was never happy with LR1's preview images, and some people didn't like LR2's preview images. I'm going out on a limb here, but to my eyes, and the limited amount of images shot, LR3's preview images look like they did on my camera's LCD screen.  Folks, that's like super good news. Let's see if that still holds true with this week's shooting.

Wait, there's more LR3 stuff. I'm going to point you towards Adobe's own, John Nack, who posted the announcement of the BETA release over at his site. Here is the link to John's site right here.

Be sure to read the entire article.  At the end he points you towards Julieanne Kost's 3 tutorials - about an hour's worth - introducing all the brand new cool LR3 features. 

Finished with Julieanne's tutorials, now head over to Scott Kelby's blog - link also at the end of John's post - to see his TOP 10 fav features.  Hey gang, it's all good reading if you are riding the Lightroom train.

Oh my gosh, I almost forgot.  There is also one more great post over at Luminous-Landscape right here.  Michael Reichmann always has a nice take on all things Lightroom.  His article is about the best to read for the most practical look at LR3.

Ink-Jet Will Last Forever - Well Almost

Canon ipf6100 While roaming the highways and byways of the web this past weekend, I found this interesting post on ink-jet longevity.  Many of you know that we have been doing our own ink-jet printing at my studio for several  years.  I was always amazed by the longevity rating of ink-jet prints as published by Wilhelm-Research who analyze such things. Here is the link to their Epson 3800 tests right here - check them out and you will see what I mean.

Anyway, at my DWUC tour I am showing 8 of the most gorgeous ink-jet prints I have ever seen.  They are just stunning and everyone who sees them agrees.  They were printed on a Canon image ProGraf iPF6100 printer.  So how long will they last, you ask - a really long time. Here is the Canon Press Release right here over at Imaging-resource and the entire Wilhelm-Research report right here.

That's very good news for me. For 2010, we are beginning work on my fine art series of images.  The Canon  ProGraf iPF series of printers will be my printers of choice.

Hey gang, I've got to hitting the road.  My class starts shortly.  Stay tuned this week and I'll keep you up to date with more 7D news and hopefully some pretty cool images. See ya' later.  -David

Friday, October 23, 2009

"Dancin' In The Sunlight"

Dancin' In The Sunlight

"Dancin' In The Sunlight" 
©David A. Ziser

Here is an image made from one of our "Trash The Dress" sessions that I discuss below.  Back in the day, we called it our "Bridal Pictorial" session.  It rained on the bride's wedding day and time was limited.  Only by scheduling the post wedding day shot about two weeks after the wedding could we have gotten this kind of imagery.  The weather was perfect, the time of day was perfect, and the fact that we got a great sunset sure didn't hurt either. We probably picked up a grass stain here and a bit of soil there, but who cares, my client got a great set of images. Lighting was from camera left with the flash balancing the sunset for the best effect. Yes, the shot was also made with my fisheye lens - just think of this week being "fisheye week" here at DPT;~)  Camera specs; Nikon D1x fitted with Nikkor 16mm Fisheye lens, F5.6 @ 1/320 second, ISO 640.  Enjoy!  -David

Trash The Dress Or Trash The Photographer Friday

Good Afternoon Everybody,

Well, I spent a little bit of yesterday checking out new laptops with Windows 7 loaded.  I still haven't "pulled the trigger" yet, but I think I'm getting a lot closer to making the jump.

Animoto Video I was also playing around with the new Animoto video feature yesterday and today - way cool.  My quick take - you don't need to learn video editing to incorporate video into your media productions.  Look for something in depth next week about this important business sizzler.

I've mentioned a few times that I'm reviewing a number of wedding sites for a BIG project I'm involved with. It's amazing to me the common denominator for so many of the images on the sites - lots of wide angle lens shots, lots of scene setters, peak action captured, not much off-camera flash, and more.  I'm kind of reflecting out loud, so stay tuned. I see another big blog post on the horizon. 

OK, guys and girls are you ready to “stir the broth” with me today? Here we go with;

Trash The Dress Or Trash The Photographer Friday

You know, I've been discussing this topic briefly in my DWUC tour.  I made a remark in Washington D.C that went something like this. "If my daughter came up to me and told me she had booked a photographer who was going to do a "Trash the Dress" session and have the wedding party throw jelly donuts at her wedding gown, I think I'd be telling her that if that happened, I was going to have my own personal "Trash The Photographer" session right after that!"

That kind of sums up where I was stand on the topic when I hear of photographers dragging the gown through mud and dirt, painting the gown, even setting it on fire!  Stop the presses - that's going overboard for me.

When I hear these kind of stories and see these kinds of images, it disgusts me. What is the point?  Is it just one more indication of the coarsening of our society [link]? Is it a blatantly vulgar statement about wedding photography?

Trash The dress pic1Actually, I think there is some truth in all those statements.  Wait, don't leave yet - hang in here with me a bit longer. Why? Because I believe there is a place for the "Trash the Dress" session as part of our photographic repertoire. Where I disagree, is how we should approach the session.

A few weeks ago, I had one of my DWUC attendees come up to me as ask if I had seen the Today Show on MSNBC featuring "Trash The Dress" sessions in their piece entitled, "Bride's Get Down and Dirty." I admitted I hadn't, but from her tone knew she was disgusted with the story. Here is the story link right here.  You need to click on the “Be sure to watch the 3 minute video” small image on the bottom right side of the screen to see the 3 minute video.

So what do you think about trashing the gown just for the sake of trashing the gown? The four brides riding around on the four wheeler splashing through the water and mud is blatantly vulgar. It's just not how my mother raised me.  The photographer interviewed claimed it was a creative new way to photograph the bride - for what, shock value - YES; but creative - I disagree.

The "creativity" of some of these sessions is akin to the vulgar "creativity" of Don Imus or Howard Stern.  Hey, that may be your gig........ It's certainly not mine.

That said, there are some images from these "Trash The Dress" sessions that I love, for example, the one posted above by Michael Smith. I love the textures of the water, the beauty of the setting, the wonderful way you can just view and enjoy the image.  That's a creative and beautiful TTD image.

I spent a good bit of time yesterday researching the topic. I thought my take might have been a bit restricted. Maybe I need to get a different view on the subject.  I found a great article on the over at Attic Annie's blog right here. It seems Annie has mixed feelings about the trend, too. I think her posts reflects what a lot of people/bride's feel about the subject.

The Fayetteville Observer had another piece on the TTD topic right here.  Read the article if you’d like - I prefer the commenter’s comments following the article. 

Here is another take from the Washington Post right here. I love the paragraph near the end of the article - And in the process, photographers find themselves unshackled from wedding day constraints. "I get to have creative insight for once," says Britton. "And there's no time limitations."

Folks, taking pictures of the bride and groom other than on the wedding day was a concept started by Rocky Gunn in the 70's. Yes, I said, those 1970's.  After starting my business we started incorporating the TTD sessions into our own studio offerings.  We just called it something different.  It was called a Bridal Pictorial session.  In fact , we still shoot them for our clients today.  Like they say, "What goes around, comes around." Like Mr. Britton says above - no wedding day constraints at all - yes, plenty of time to be creative. has another article on the subject entitled, "Embracing a "Trash-the-Dress" Shoot." [link] They've come to the same conclusion Rocky did years ago - do an additional bridal shoot (call it whatever you want - TTD, Bridal Pictorial, etc.) on a different day in a cool location and, as this article points out, "... the images can create an amazing addition to any album or wedding collection."  I agree - and this article illustrates the point wonderfully.

So what's my final take on these types of bridal sessions? You know there are some beautiful images created in these non-wedding day sessions.  Whether they are called "Trash The Dress", "Rockin' With The Dress", or "Bridal Pictorials", the imagery can be striking (like the image below by Sean and Mel Mclellan), and striking for all the right reasons - no wedding day constraints, perfect weather, fabulous locations, not as much concern for the dress, and most of all - a wonderful way to let your creativity reach new limits!TTD pic2So yes, I am thrilled that photographers are finding their way back to what so many of us have been doing for so many years.  I love the fact that the new brides and grooms are being informed of the range of creative possibilities awaiting them if they take the photographer up on his/her non-wedding shoot date. The images produced by those embracing the non-wedding day shoot can be a great addition to any wedding collection.

On the negative side though, too many of these sessions are in such bad taste, they are not creative, and simply represent wedding photography at it's vulgar worst. But, you say, "It's my right to have bad taste."  You're right, but I don't need to appreciate or enjoy it. I'd rather be on the classy side of these sessions all the time.

Food For Thought-

Hey gang, that's it for me today. We are putting finishing touches on my Master Class beginning on Monday.  I'm meeting with my "coaches" in just a few minutes, so I'm out of here.  See ya' Monday, -David

Thursday, October 22, 2009

"A Whisper To My Love"

A Whisper To My Love

"A Whisper To My Love" 
©David A. Ziser

This image is from a series I produced for the bride and groom on their wedding day. The bride had a classic beauty radiating from her during this series. Even though the image is stylized (I added noise), I still like the feeling between the couple. I lit the scene with my off-camera flash coming in from camera right. My direction to the couple was pretty much hands off. I simply asked them just to "snuggle in close.  My long lens choice kept me fairly far from the couple which gave them the sense of privacy needed to allow the sense of intimacy to come forth for this shot. Camera specs; Canon 5D fitted with 70-300mm IS Do lens at 300mm, F5.6 @ 1/100 second, ISO 160. Enjoy!  -David

Business Day Thursday: Stop Putting A Gag Order On Your Sales! - Part 3

Good Morning Everybody,

windows-7-aurora-green-wallpaper So, who's heading out to pick up their brand new Windows 7 computer today? Who knows, I might just pick one up myself to see what all the buzz is about.

As I've been touring the country with my DWUC tour, the subject of MAC vs. PC always comes up. Don’t worry - I'm not going there today.  But another topic that came up now and then was how many Windows 7 adopters would be jumping on the bandwagon after today's launch of Windows 7. 

It was amazing to me how many photogs were part of Microsoft's massive Win 7 public BETA.  Even more interesting to me was the response I heard from 100% of the Win 7 beta testers.  They went something like this, "I've had it running for months and not one crash." Or, "It's the most stable OS I've ever used." And lastly from a tech support rep running a MAC but using Win 7 Boot-camped on his MAC, "I’m buying it the day it comes out!"

Anyway, I happen to be one of the guys finally giving up on my XP Pro system and jumping on the Win 7 bandwagon.  I'll keep you posted.

Help Wanted - One Last Time

Help Wanted LaDawn asked me to put out the call for volunteers for our last ten cities on my Digital WakeUp Call tour. On November 2 we head out on the last leg of our travels wrapping in Honolulu on November 18. 

LaDawn is looking for volunteers for Raleigh, NC - 11/2; Charlotte, NC - 11/3; Columbia, SC - 11/4; Atlanta, GA #1 - 11/5; Atlanta, GA #2 - 11/9, Birmingham, AL - 11/10; Memphis - 11/11 and Nashville, TN - 11/12; Las Vegas - 11/16, and Honolulu - 11/18.  Here is the link to hotel locations right here.

Please email LaDawn at for start times and more information. Hey, the adult beverages are on me at the end of the night! Oh, and by the way, LaDawn definitely makes it worth your while for helping, too.

OK, time to get on with today's episode of Business Day Thursday.  Here we go.

Stop Putting A Gag Order On Your Sales! - Part 3

Last week I was on my soap box about how so many photogs are killing their sales by not being pro-actively involved with their clients during the image selection process. It baffles me as to why photogs settle for far less than what their energies, effort, and creative ability warrants.

Lest, I jump back up on my soap box, let me share with you how we've been doing things around David Ziser Photography for years.  It has been the main reason for my success in the Cincinnati, Ohio area.

Since 1980, I have had clients come back to my studio to view a slide show of their wedding images and make their selection at the time when they were most excited about what I was most excited about showing them during that special appointment session.  We always called it our "Presentation" appointment.

Client Meeting_000002757268XSmall Things have changed in our brave new digital world.  Today we post our images on-line for our clients to view. We notify them that their images are on-line and continue to make a "presentation" appointment with them at the same time. They select, NOT their final selection, but only their favorites from all the images we present on-line.  From the 1200+ images we post, my clients typically select about 400-500 images as favorites.

Here is the cool thing that happens next.  When our clients arrive for their "Presentation" appointment, they are pretty darn excited about what they viewed on line.  They are visiting our studio with a wonderful first impression of what they've seen on line.

With our guidance during the "Presentation" appointment, we narrow the 400-500 FAVORITES down to a more manageable 250 - 280 images which we will design into their album.  Instead of letting our clients take a "hit or miss" approach to selecting their images, we work with them sharing with them what we saw through the lens and suggesting how these series of images really tell the entire story of the day.

Here is another reason why this collaboration with your client is so important.  The album that we eventually design from the client’s selected images is a reflection of your story telling ability, your  talents and your creativity. The "hit or miss" on-line selection process seriously jeopardizes potential clients' perception of your most important product. That is the ability to tell the complete story of the bride and groom's most important day in their lives.

Wedding Page Without the collaborative process in action, that final collection of images, the story, the excitement, the beauty, the spontaneity, the emotional marrow of the special day is sadly missing.

When my clients show off the beautiful album we deliver, I can rest assured that their album is a complete story of their wonderful day capturing all the details, nuances, expressions, and splendor of the their event. That's how I want my work presented in the community in which my studio's reputation is so important.

Food for thought.

Hey gang, that's it for me today.  See everybody tomorrow for my thoughts on, "Should We Trash the Dress Or Trash The Photographer? The post should "stir the broth" a bit.  Hope to see you then.  Adios, -David

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

"Beauty And The Beach"

Beauty And The Beach "Beauty And The Beach" 
©David A. Ziser

Here is another image I made a few years ago. Coincidentally, it was made with my 16mm fisheye.  I know, it seems I'm stuck in "fisheye limbo" here, but I still like the shot.  Notice how in today's shot, the fisheye lens curves the horizon line adding interest to the composition.  The sunset colors always make for a dramatic shot, too. Camera specs; Nikon D1x fitted with Nikkor 16mm Fisheye Lens, F5.6 @ 1/500 second, ISO 400.  Enjoy!  -David

Technique Tuesday On Wednesday; What Do These Buttons Do? and ISO 102,400 on the Canon 1D Mark IV

Good Early Afternoon Everybody,

Wow, almost back on schedule today - what a concept!  Anyway, things are cookin' around here – we just about have all the loose ends taken care of for next week's Master Class, we've also planned some cool, new things for DigitaProTalk, and my DWUC tour is rounding third and heading for home in a few weeks.

Yes, I'm actually "seeing a little light at the end of the tunnel" as they say - I just hope it's not a freight train;~) 

Canon 1D Mark IV Not much new to report today other than to say I spoke with my buddy and Canon rep, Mary Mannix, this morning and asked when I could take a peek at the new Canon 1D Mark IV.  I even suggested she bring it to my class next week. It took a few seconds for the laughing to stop - so I guess that's not going to happen.

Turns out she had the camera in her hands yesterday but had to return it for Canon’s Photo Plus show coming up this weekend in NYC. I asked her if she clicked off a shot at that unbelievable ISO 102,400 yet.  She told me she had and the result was unbelievable. Sure it's a bit noisy but if you have to get the shot, now you can - even if the subject is in nearly complete darkness!

Want to see what an ISO 102,400 shot looks like? Check out this link right here - pretty interesting! Heck, download a few and run them through Noise Ninja, or NIK DFine 2. Like Mary said, if you need to get the shot, now you can. Now you've got that opportunity to open up that little private detective agency on the side;~)

Nocturne By the way, here is another take on the Mark IV by Vincent Laforet right here - a must read if this new camera might be for you.  Wait, there's more.  Check out Vincent's latest video "Nocturne" made with the Canon 1D Mk IV over at Photography Bay right here.  He shot the entire video at ISO 6400! As Maxwell Smart would say, "Very interesting!!!"

OK, back to real business - let's get on with today's tutorial. Here we go.

So What Do These Buttons Do?

How often do we get a new piece of software, load it up, and just learn it's basic functionality? Boy, how many of us have done that with Lightroom? Like I've been saying on my DWUC tour - Too much software, too little time to learn it all.

1024x768 - What Do These Buttons Do If we dig under the hood just a bit more though, we just might find some more "creativity sliders" that will add a bit more sizzle to our images.

That's what I've attempted to do in this tutorial.  I think Lightroom is just a kick to use when I'm "playing" with my fine art images.  I love the way I can range, saturate, and de-saturate the various colors within the image. And, I like the fact that I don't have to make the trip to Photoshop to get the job done.

This tutorial shows how I use the Hue and Luminosity sliders in Lightroom's color channels to finesse the image to it's final result.  The process is always fun so hit he PLAY button below and enjoy the show.

Hey gang, that's it for me today.  Everybody have a great one and I see you tomorrow for another Business day Thursday. Over and Out, -David

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

"Time To Celebrate"

Time To Celebrate

"Time To Celebrate"
©David A. Ziser

I made this image about 6 years ago just as we were transitioning to digital.  I love how it captures the spirit of the moment. I also remember the bright sun and knowing I had to “nail the exposure” so as not “blow out” the gown.  That was a BIG challenge because back in those days, most of us were JPEG shooters because of the lack of easy workflow solutions at the time. (Read that as Lightroom wasn’t invented yet.)  Here is another cool fact about this shoot – it was made with a fisheye lens.  But, do you notice that there is not much “fisheye” distortion.  Why, because first of all, I’m using it on an APS size sensor.  That means I’m only using the inside of the image circle of the lens that was designed for a full frame camera – not a bad super wide angle lens when used in this manner.  The other reason you don’t notice much distortion is because the subject matter doesn’t give it away either – no long, curving straight lines anywhere to give the lens away. And the last reason I posted the shot – because my bride in the image attended my DWUC tour in Washington D.C. last week.  She’s just starting her photography business in the area. Always nice to see past clients in the audience;~)  Thanks Amy!  Camera specs; Nikon D1x fitted with 16mm Nikkor Fisheye, f9.0 @ 1/1250 second, ISO 400.  Enjoy!  -David

Technique Tuesday: Moving To Wednesday This Week; Studio Production Changes, and Upcoming Canon 7D vs. 5D Mk II Comparisons

Good Late Afternoon Everybody,

World Headquarters - iStock_000001742199XSmall I hit DigitalProTalk World Headquarters about 6:30 a.m. this morning and have not hardly let my seat. Hence the vary late post again today. I had ton's of plans and details to go over with the staff today. We were recapping tour items but more importantly, my Digital Master Class for next week.

We are doing a completely different version of the class which is demanding a lot of coordination with staff, models, and my photographer coaches, too. We just wrapped that meeting and are excited with our new plans for next week.  I can't wait to give the new format a try in spite of all the added complexities.  Thank goodness, I have a good team around me to help make things go smoothly.  Stay tuned - I'll keep you posted next week.

Instead of trying to get my Technique Tuesday Episode up super late today, I going to hold off till tomorrow.  Look for me to go back on some kind of regular schedule with the tutorial hitting in the morning.

And just so your visit to DPT today was worth the trip, let me fill you in on a few things we're trying around here to enhance studio workflow.

Making A Few Workflow Changes - Hopefully For The Best

As I write this, I've got my IT buddy, Paul, checking out the computer network.  While on the road, my team has been complaining of things running mighty slow. We're checking network speeds, transfer rates, network conflicts – almost anything could be causing the problem.

I’m sure part of the problem is simply the larger file sizes we are dealing with these days. Heck, the 5d Mk II files and the 7D files are much larger than what we dealt with back in my 40D JPEG days.

The other part of the problem is hard drive speed and too many USB drives attached to too many computers.  Storage, even cheap storage, is hanging off of two many photogs' computers these days.

DLink On a whim and at the clerk's suggestion at Micro Center yesterday I picked up a new D-Link NAS Raid chassis with two 1-T Western Digital eSATA drives spinning at 7200RPM.  We are hoping that will speed things a bit.

We are trying a different Lightroom production strategy at the studio.  Because Lightroom does work on a network, at least for now, I've picked up a couple of the little Toshiba pocket drives - only $149 for two 320 gig drives from Sam's Club.

Toshiba Drive The plan is to copy an entire client folder to one of these pocket drives then let it travel to each workstation as needed to complete the order. That makes all the Lightroom folders, image files, and anything client related all in one place.  We'll back things up on a daily basis for safe keeping.  I'll keep you posted as to our success at the new workflow.

DAZNOTE: I was planning to use the brand new Western Digital Passports for the above mentioned project, but they kept crashing my computer - very weird.  I've always had good luck with them in the past, but the latest crop of them just are not the same.  I have no clue what gives.

Canon 5D Mark II vs. 7D - Inquiring Minds Want To Know

CAnon 7D-2 Lots of folks have been commenting in the Skribit Widget in the right column about my doing some comparisons on the two cameras.  Well, the DWUC tour has made that impossible to do since I've only had the camera for a week or two.

That's all about to change shortly.  As I said, we've got my class starting next week and I plan to run the Canon 7D through it's paces.  I'll have some definitive results for you then - stay tuned.

And speaking of Canon cameras what do you think of Canon's new 1D Mark IV announcement? I'm REAL curious about it's new 6 digit 100,000 ISO speed! Can't wait to see the tests on that one.

Hey gang, that's it for me today. I've got to tend to things back on the farm so I'll see you tomorrow, bright and early.  See ya' then,  -David

Monday, October 19, 2009

"Just Relaxing During The Shoot"

Just Relaxing During The Shoot "Just Relaxing During The Shoot" 
©David A. Ziser

This image was made right after I got my brand new Canon 20D a little over 5 years ago.  In fact, this is one of the first images I made with the camera. I love the relaxed feel of the bride apparently just waiting for the next shot.  This was that "next" shot. People hate "posed" photographs, at least when they look posed.  My goal is to always have the subject looking their best and completely at ease in these kind of shots.  The beautiful surrounds sure adds to the wonderful composition of this shot, too. Camera specs; Canon 20D fitted with 17-85mm IS lens (the only lens I owned at the time), F5.6 @ 1/60 second - hand-held, ISO 400, JPEG mode. Light from camera left through a shoot through umbrella.  Enjoy!  -David

Quick Hit Monday: Free Webinars; Lots Of Free Tutorials; Creativity; and Cool Group Shots

Good Afternoon Everybody,

The post is going up a little later than usual for a Monday because things are really hopping around the studio.  It's the first time I've had a chance to meet with my team for a while so we had a lot of ground to cover this morning. That plus a few other projects going on around here that needed to be tended too made for the afternoon post. 

In going through over 1,600 emails over the weekend - that includes  the normal backlog of non critical emails from being on the road with the DWUC tour, I've tripped over a few items I thought might be of interest. 

That said, let's get on with Quick Hit Monday in no particular order.

Free Webinar On Social Media Marketing

Everling Webinar Lew Everling, who spoke at our state meeting this past October, and who we met at the Indianapolis stop of my DWUC tour is presenting a FREE Webinar on Social Media Marketing, Thursday, October 22, 2009 from 2 - 3:00 p.m. Here is the secure link to REGISTER.  It's being presented by ACI, one of my DWUC tour sponsors so you can trust it to be a good program.

Lew will cover the basics of the most popular forms of social networking. Participants will be guided through the set up of accounts, and how to get started using Facebook, Twitter, and how to tie them together creating content driven media by you and your audience.

Hey, I just signed up, hope to see you there.

Adobe TV Has A New Look

I have to say, I think Adobe TV is one of the best places for FREE good learning on the web - after DigitalProTalk, that is;~)  Anyway, my Inbox pointed me toward a brand new Adobe TV.  Check it out right here.  I've already spent about 20 minutes checking out all their goodies.

Adobe TV2Here is one of my favs - "Soften Portraits Without Selections".  Very cool - here is the link right here.

Wait, There's More NIK Tutorials

That's right - you know, at my Digital WakeUp Call tour, I always poll the audience to see how many people are using the super cool NIK products.  I'm pleased, as well as a bit astonished, by the large number of people that use the NIK products.  They are really popular.

NIK Lightroom Anyway, many of you may not know, but now all the NIK products - DFine 2.0, Viveza, Color Efex Pro 3.0, Silver Efex Pro, and Sharpener Pro 3.0 all work right inside Lightroom - very cool.  Anyway, they offer lots of tutorials on their site, but in checking emails over the weekend, I just found out that they have many more available.  The nine new tutorials show how DFine 2.0 works within the Lightroom and Aperture interfaces.

If you're using NIK Software, you've got to check it out.  Here is the link to the lessons

War Of Art - cover_war_art The War Of Art - Pushing Your Creativity

"What keeps so many of us from doing what we long to do? Why is there a naysayer within? How can we avoid the roadblocks of any creative endeavor—be it starting up a dream business venture, writing a novel, or painting a masterpiece?"

Those words were lifted from Steven Pressfield's website describing his new book "The War Of Art"  which looks like a fascinating read, by the way.  In 1600 plus emails was a note from, fellow blogger, and DWUC attendee Chris Ward who told me he had an interview with Mr. Pressfield and was running it today.  I just gave it a read - it speaks directly to each of us wanting to be involved in the creative process.  You can give it a read right here.  Thanks Chris for the heads up!

AA Studios And Now For A Little Wedding Photography

I'm involved in a large project that involves reviewing lots of wedding web sites - more on that later.  Anyway, during my site review, I've come across lots of really cool sites. One of my favorites was A&A Studios from Denver, Colorado.  WOW! What great images.  Here is the link to their main site right here.  I went gallery cruising in Portfolio One [link].  Scroll through all the images.  The group shots are about the best I've seen - great use of light, composition, and color - just great imagery.

Hey gang, on that note I'm wrapping things up and hitting the road.  The team is calling so I'm back to real work today.  See everyone tomorrow for another episode of Technique Tuesday, "So Thats What Those Buttons Do - A Lightroom Tutorial"  See ya' tomorrow, -David

Friday, October 16, 2009

"Dancing Till Midnight"

0001-Dancing Till Midnight-1316_HuttenbaueW02UE "Dancing Till Midnight" 
©David A. Ziser

This image was captured in my early digital days.  I had just started experimenting around with shooting available light images at the reception.  In the film days,the fastest film we had was Kodak’s Vericolor 800 film.  That was really considered fast.  But now I owned a camera that could have the ISO pushed all the way up to 1600 ISO. Using a lens with a F2.8 aperture I’m thinking, “Wow! This should be cool for some nice available light candids.” I gave it try on this image of the bride and groom dancing their first dance together.  I was shooting with a very wide fisheye lens so I thought I could get by with a slower shutter speed without the motion blur being noticed to much. Well, it worked.  Thankfully the dance floor was also illuminated which gave me the extra light I needed for the exposure.  The reception illumination also put a nice warm glow over the entire image. I like how the image came out and most importantly so did the client.  Camera specs: Fuji FinePix2 fitted with Nikkor 16mm Fisheye lens, F 2.8 @ 1/30 second, ISO 1600.  Enjoy!  -David

You’ve Got To Play Like A Loser To Be A Winner

Good Morning Everybody,

Plane - iStock_000000029723XSmall We wrapped our two week DWUC road trip last night in the Washington D.C. area.  We had a crowd of about 200 photogs all wanting to win the door prizes I was giving away.  Everybody LOVES door prize time.

Anyway, we are head out early this morning.  Our plane leaves from Baltimore and we’ve got the rush hour commute to deal with. It will be good to get back home, relax, and recharge.

In today’s post I had something else planned – how to shoot seniors and what video clips to shoot as part of that shoot.  Yes, I’m gearing more and more to include video clips  with all our shoots.

Well, I called the office and asked that I have a senior standing by for sometime next week for a short session to show you what I have in mind.  It’s all set up so stay tuned for a very special post next week.

So that brings me to my alternate topic for today. Here we go.

You’ve Got To Play Like A Loser To Be A Winner

Football - iStock_000004260212XSmall I know, the topic sounds kind of weird today, doesn’t it? But, here’s my point.  I’ve never been a big football fan (LaDawn is a huge fan of the game), but the Cincinnati Bengals are winning again so I’ve been tuning in on Sunday afternoons.

Have you ever watched the losers play the game. Now I talking  about the losers of a fairly close game. Man, what strikes me is the ever so small difference in perfection between the two teams in so many of these games. Even the losers look really, really good.

The losers are only missing in their performance by such a slim margin. They continue to run and execute offensive plays to near perfection, the defense is reading the offence, the offence is reading the defense, every team member is digging deep to execute beyond expectations simply playing great ball. Sure, this slim margin of under performance costs them the game. 

Here is my point.  How well do we play the game of life.  Are we really out there giving it all we’ve got.  The losers in these close games surely are.  What’s the outcome?  It’s clear, they come in second in a game where only two teams are playing. And we call them losers.

But you know what…. that’s why we need to play the game of life as least as good as the losers – so we can come in second too.  The big difference in our case is that in the game of life #2 is only one notch from the top. And in life being #2 is not losing, it’s actually called being darn good.

You know, the same philosophy works for our business too. If you prepare and train yourself to be successful, you will be. You may still come in second now and then, but second place is a good place to be at the end of the game. Unless, you’re playing a football game.

Food for thought---

Hey gang, that’s it for me today.  Have a great weekend and I'll see you on the flip side, all the pixels willin’.  See ya’ then, David

Thursday, October 15, 2009

"An Easy Afternoon"

0001-Easy Afternoon-IMG_7914 "An Easy Afternoon"
©David A. Ziser

Here is another image from the PSW Wedding Shootout from a few weeks ago in Las Vegas. I like the easy, relaxed feeling of this image, but I also like the way the light rays from the stain glass window and it’s reflections on the floor also lead your eyes to the bride. Lighting was from camera left shooting my Quantum flash through my Zumbrella to create the flattering “loop light pattern” on the subject. No on camera flash was used at all.  The ambient light from the slower exposure supplied the necessary fill illumination. All this results in a nice, simple, beautiful straight forward shot.  Camera specs; Canon 5D mark II fitted with 24-105mm IS lens at 40mm, F5.6 @ 1/40 second, ISO 1600.  Enjoy!  -David

Stop Putting A Gag Order On Your Sales! - Part 2

Good Morning Everybody,

We landed safe and sound in Baltimore yesterday and were warmly welcomed by a nice crowd of almost 200 enthusiastic photogs. Today we head down the road to Washington, D.C. to another large crowd. We are out bright and early tomorrow so look for the Friday post a little later in the day.

On another note, we finally booked the Columbia, South Carolina hotel – the Radisson Hotel and Resort on Bush River Road. For all those registered and those who want to register for the November 4, 2009 presentation of my Digital WakeUp Call tour can find all the hotel info right here. Hope to see you there.

Master_Class1_-_Fall09_220px And one last note, we have about 1 space in my Digital Master Class coming up October 26, 2009.  Remember, it’s an all new format with a big emphasis on you DOING THE SHOOTING in small groups with my “coaches” help you to obtain the best shot.  It should be fun.  All the Master Class info can be found right hereGive Jennifer a call at 800-292-2994 to register.

OK gang, time to get on with today’s post.  Here we go.

Stop Putting A Gag Order On Your Sales! - Part 2

Gagged 2 - iStock_000001625644XSmallLast week I wanted to start a discussion on what’s wrong with wedding averages these days. Like I said, wedding averages are at an all time low in our profession.  Anybody with a camera is shooting weddings – or so it seems.

Sure, it’s a kick to get out there and shoot – we all love the chasing that great image.  But, you know, if you are going to make a living at it, you better be able to sell it.

OK, I hear you out there saying, “Well, I put my images on line for my clients to pick them out, but they never make a sizable selection of images.”  Heck folks, that’s the common denominator for most wedding shooters that continue to put the images on line, spin the wheel of misfortune, and hope for a good order.

The fact of the matter, lots of photogs were doing that same kind of thing back in the film days.  Back then, most photographers passed a set of proofs to their clients and hoped, and wished, and waited and waited for a big order.

Here’s the deal gang – READ MY LIPS!!!

Unless you are pro-actively involved with your client during the selection process, EXPECT YOUR SALE TO GO NOWARE!!!

How in the world can we expect a big sale or any kind of reasonable sale for that matter, if we can’t share with our customers what we were seeing in our mind’s eye and feeling in our soul when we took the pictures.  If we can’t communicate our thoughts and feeling to our clients, how in the world can they be expected to know how to tell their wedding story with the images we created for them?

With our images just sitting up on line wanting for the client to pick their favorites, we are literally putting a “gag order” on our sales.

You know, we all work pretty darn hard shooting a wedding. So, why is it that when we present our images to our clients, images that we were really excited to create for them, that we fail to communicate our sense of excitement for those images to them?

As long as we languish in this “sales killing” way of thinking, our sales will NEVER go anywhere. We’ve got to meet and work with the client, share with them what we were trying to capture for them on their wedding day, describe how so many of the great story telling images can come together in a wonderful and beautiful album.

Once again, let me say – we have to pro-actively be involved with our client if we really want the sale to grow.

I‘m still fired up about this, so let me calm down a bit, wipe my brow, relax for a minute or two ;~) And, plan to pick it up again next week  with more solid sales strategies for you.

Sales Contest Still Going OnBHGiftCard6_thumb3

Hey everybody, just one more reminder – This is the last week for the contest we’ve got going.  Three weeks ago I posted “Sales – Nudging It Up A Notch.” Here is the link. The topic discussed how we could incrementally raise the sale on the same product. 

Remember that the “sales nudge” is on the same product. You’ve still got time to post your ideas. I’m going to let the contest run one more week and then pick the winner – don’t miss out!

Time to pack our bags and head to Washington, D.C.  I checked the attendance list for tomorrow and still don’t see President Obama on it anywhere, but who knows, he may still show up;~)

See ya’ tonight in D.C and then later tomorrow from home-sweet-home. Adios gang, -David