State Fair Results - Out of State Weddings - New Gear

First I would like to announce if you weren't already aware that I will not have any photos on display at the Iowa State Fair this year. At first I was baffled but after conversing with colleagues who had remarkable entries and were not selected either I felt more at ease. You never know what a judge is looking for, given the short unprepared time frame I had to work with I felt my entries were suitable. Nonetheless I will be pleased to have them to hang on my walls! The card arrived in the mail and informed me that none of my photos were even selected for display at the 2014 Iowa State Fair Salon, I had viewed the PDF posted online a few days earlier and figured perhaps they had missed my name. The positive light of the situation is I will get my photos back earlier and not have to wait for the fair to finish. I still encourage everyone to venture through this years exhibit as all entries are in black and white. I love color and it's vivid ways so to take something I viewed as beautiful and transfer it to black and white wasn't my strong suit I'll continue to pursue story telling and I will definitely enter again next year! Look for the works of my close friends Riley Briggs, Brennan Jontz, and Daniel Auel if you happen to venture through the salon, you wont be let down as each of them have a unique way of capturing an image and telling a story that is beyond a simple photograph. 

 

Next week I will be photographing my first out of state wedding, I photographed the couple's engagement photos in May and am eager to break the ice and start in the Twin Cities. I figure if I intend to move there I should at least start drumming up business. I will be making new business cards that feature the new website as well as my new phone number! I will return to Minnesota for another wedding at the end of August in Rochester! So things will slowly start to take off. If you're one of the closet readers who hasn't interacted with me quite yet or expressed an interest in booking, have no fear! I won't be quitting the wedding scene in Iowa. There are too many gorgeous venues to let slip through my hands and I've built some strong bonds in the past few years and I look forward to only seeing them flourish! 

 

Lastly I am pleased to announce a new item in the camera bag that seems to be shrinking as I manage to cram more lenses and filters into it every day! I decided to pull the trigger on my first true wide angle lens. I got a second hand lens circa 1976 and it is beautiful! I decided to go with a 20mm as going wider has a tendency to make the viewer feel like they are a fish and the barrel distortion gets very distracting. I picked up the Vivitar 20mm F3.8 for $100 off of KEH. It had an excellent condition rating and I couldn't pass up the opportunity as it was the only one listed. It has been a year since I last purchased a lens so I figured I needed a true wide angle as 28mm was previously my widest capability and for small rooms the lens will allow me to remain close and capture more. After all the secret to any wide angle lens isn't to be far away but to be right in the center of the action. The lens allows me to focus at a minimum distance of two inches and it's mammoth diameter makes the A7 look like a toy! I'll post photos taken with the lens in my next post but so far I have been very impressed! 

Return to Bessie's Barn (Lee & Bre) [VIDEO]

On June 28th I had the pleasure of returning to one of my favorite venues accompanied by a good friend and 3 cameras. Ta'mone Williams graduated from Wartburg College earlier this year and has had a knack for videography and photography for longer than I have actually known the guy. I elected for trying a second shooter in an attempt to have less tripod shots, twice the creativity and someone to converse with during the down time of the wedding day as well as the long drive. 

We arrived at Bessie's Barn located just outside of Centerville, Iowa and everything was like I had never left. The last time I was in the venue was in December for the wedding of Haylee and Niles. The only difference this time was the absence of snow which was placed with warm humid air. We arrived and quickly met the bride (Bre) and her mother! We quickly ran through a list of questions and then started our day which was immediately greeted by mimosas thanks to our new friends. Yes mimosas take the edge of excitement off and are always delightful when starting a long day, trust me this isn't my first rodeo.

The couple had painstakingly decorated everything just as such a beautiful venue deserved, they didn't cut corners and had addressed every detail. They even had cheese wheels and glass bottles of soda on hand at the snack bar. Sure they were twist off bottles but at this point my glass for mimosas were endless. 

The hair and make up artists controlled the brides room as each bridesmaid went through the ropes of getting prepped for the glorious day. Each wearing a kimono like piece as they waited for their turn. The groom (Lee) patiently waited in his room, as he dawned his suit for the day, suspenders accompanied by a bow tie that would entice any fashion maven. He opened gifts shedding the occasional smile as he placed the new watch on his wrist replacing his old one you could tell he knew that in a few short hours he would finally get to marry the woman of his dreams. 

Lee opening gifts before the first sighting

Lee opening gifts before the first sighting

Luckily Bre had not yet written her letter to Lee yet so we were able to orchestrate where we would like for her to do it, considering both the surroundings and ideal lighting we led her to the second floor of the barn and  Ta'mone elected to utilize a corner lit only by a single window at waist level. Bre sat down and we started to film her as she wrote the final letter as a single woman to the man of her dreams. It was absolutely silent as she moved the pen against the paper assembling the note for Lee. 

Bre writing her letter to Lee next to a window located on the second story of the barn

Bre writing her letter to Lee next to a window located on the second story of the barn

They bridesmaids vacated the room as the bride climbed into one of the most luxurious dresses I have witnessed. Add in the fact that it was accented with a veil that featured embroidery from her mother's wedding dress and the overall value of the dress and overall day is elevated to another level. 

The veil being placed on the bride featured embroidery from her mother's wedding dress

The veil being placed on the bride featured embroidery from her mother's wedding dress

The first sighting was magical and the groom managed to not shed a tear. The two held each other for a long hug before starting wedding formals. Before wedding formals could start they were temporarily interrupted by the DJ who interjected that his name was Mike. The two just saw each other for the first time and the guy had to choose the least opportune time to give an introduction. It was quite comical and the wedding party had quite the chuckle as they witnessed the event from the second story of the barn,

The day was magical as was the evening but the real reason anyone is here is so that they can watch the preview video so without anymore delay you may watch the preview of their magical day.




Younkers Fire - 2015 Pricing - USB DRIVES - Wedding Season

Nearly two months have gone by since my last entry wow time flies! I've been overwhelmed with my job as I edit more than 1000 images a week for the various papers that Gannett owns. It's a fun journey but you really begin to wonder why some people are taking photographs, and why some feel it is necessary to utilize Iphone 4 photos for newsprint. Nonetheless I edit them and send them back because it's my job. I'm just the drone, I've picked up quite a few new tricks that I was unaware of and noted a few new features that are almost like easter eggs on the back end of things. Then again there are a billion different ways to do the same tasks in Photoshop and it's interesting to see the various ways each person reaches the ending. 

Since I last updated a fire destroyed a historic landmark of downtown. The Younkers building which was in the middle of being renovated for other uses caught fire and led firefighters to utilize 160 million gallons of water to put out the blaze, during the events part of the building collapsed and engulfed a majority of downtown in a cloud of smoke. The building had a historic past and even was the location where my mother got her wedding cake. It's tragic to see something so beautiful crumble. Unfortunately I left my job at 11pm the evening of the fire and headed home. Upon reading about it on Facebook I headed back downtown and by the time I arrived a majority of the fire was under control, I captured images of the events after and also assembled a video as firefighters continued through the night and into the next day to minimize the damage. 

BnW Fbook.jpg

Too often I find people not understanding packages that they order or how incredible of a deal I have given them compared to being overcharged and receiving inadequate services and quality that is less than desirable so I'm going to post the available options and in detail what they are being offered.  It seems people overlook quality at a point and are paying far too much for an end product that is inadequate I look to change this and allow the client to see what they are capable of receiving. You get what you pay for and it's getting the point where I'm satisfied with my portfolio that I will finally put it online as well as the variety of packages and options available! You will be able to find pricing for 2015 wedding packages as well as other services by the end of the month!  I'm eager to show everyone what I have been diligently working on the past few months. As I am wrapping up a few minor things on past weddings I am pleased to announce that I will be moving on to USB drives for photography sessions as I've experienced a few bad batches of discs and not everyone has a computer capable of reading dual layer DVDs.

Wedding season is finally here for me! I had one in March with a beautiful couple and despite some snow on the ground it was a gorgeous wedding and in the final steps of finalizing their video! I look forward to the next few months as I will be busy until the end of October. I'm going to potentially pick up one more wedding but I dont want to be overburdened and want to still be able to enjoy my personal time. I'm going to end 2014 with a trip to the Virgin Islands with the girlfriend and her family which is a vacation long overdue. The last opportunity I had to just get away was in 2012 when I visited the dry state of Arizona (If I don't count 2013 where I traveled to everywhere you could possibly imagine!) 

 

Thanks for taking the time to read about the upcoming endeavors and I hope you're enjoying the progress as I continue pushing forward! I'm preparing for the Iowa State Fair photography salon and will release the images I have selected to enter during my next post! 

 

-Isaac

Good bye camera phone?

   Great news after being without my VG20 for an entire month it arrived back home today. I'm working in Omaha, Nebraska through Saturday but I am eager to get home and see that it was properly repaired and back up to specs as the work was done by an authorized Sony service. During the past month I managed to get by with just using my trusty Samsung Galaxy S4 which has helped me cope during this hiatus of not having my camera or favorite lens. The moral of the story is do not attempt to make a repair on a lens that has more screws than you have fingers. 

 (Camera Jargon AHEAD)

   The Canon FD lenses I ordered shipped today as well! For those of you interested I picked up the following lenses for a little over $50 after taxes!

  1. 135mm F3.5 
  2. 50mm F1.8
  3. 100mm-300mm F5.6
  4. 70mm-210mm F4.5 Macro

I wanted to make sure I had a fast 50mm out the gate because with the A7 it will feel like I am holding air. The 135mm F3.5 although slower than I would prefer for low lit situations will allow me to get a few light stops in over the 100-300mm. Of course I had to pick up a 100mm-300mm for multiple reasons, it was 20 bucks, until now the longest range I have had was the long end of my SEL18200 which on the APS-C is the 300mm equivalent on the full frame sensor. So this will allow me to still feel like I did when shooting on the VG20 however, when necessary I can switch the A7 to APS-C and make the 300mm become 450mm which may be necessary to achieve certain images in mind as well as lend some creativity in the long run. 

  While the topic of gear is still present I purchased something today that was long overdue. A diffuser for my on camera flash. It will help immensely to avoid harsh lighting during the fast paced shots and dramatically decrease the amount of post editing required. I'm aware that it's 50 dollars and looks like a crunch up cup for a shake but after countless reviews and example images I'm confident with my purchase.

   The A7 (the new camera) should arrive on December 3rd as I expect no delays because I was so quick to reserve it. The only things that remain for me to pick up are one more external camera flash for even lighting during large family photos during the upcoming weddings and a few W series batteries for the A7. Things are finally coming together nicely and I look forward to sharing some stunning images and videos during the upcoming months!

    If I am excited about anything in particular it definitely has to be the individual who has the role of the best man for an upcoming wedding. The groom in one of my December weddings is having his 4 year old son take on the special role and I am beyond excited to have an adorable blond hair, blue eyed lady killer in what should become timeless photos! Is he preparing a speech or is he currently watching cartoons? I am not one to speculate but I can't wait to meet him!  Add the fact that the wedding will take place in a beautiful barn and did I mention boots?