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. 

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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! 



17206 - New Job - Dorothy


A month since my last post? Damn i've been busy and with good reasons I assure you! I kicked off the month of March with a late birthday gift to myself and went to visit the girlfriend (Marlyssa) up north and it seems every time I enter Minnesota a polar vortex is necessary! When we weren't hibernating in the frigid temperatures we did venture out and explored and enjoyed the local cuisine. It's a blessing to find someone who cares and appreciates you for who you are despite the flaws that the rest of society may observe. We spent one afternoon in St. Paul exploring and grabbing a few images despite having a dirty sensor full of dust and random foreign objects! I didn't want to leave but I had to prepare for training at my new job. She's doing well with Grad School and is wrapping up her first semester where she will then have a short break and go right back into more classes while balancing work. She is the super woman in my life and truly a vice of love. I may not of had the opportunity to observe the Northern Lights which made a faint appearance the first night I was visiting however they arrived before the sun had set and by the time the sun had escaped the horizon they were too faint to be observed against the light pollution of the twin cities. In the end I got to spend time with the girlfriend and that is all that really matters when it's boiled down!

New Job

I'm in my 3rd week at Gannett as an Image Specialist, where I tone images for print for various newspapers across the United States that are part of the Gannett entity. It's quite a learning experience, I've already made quite a few friends and now see a few on a more regular basis as they work at Gannett as well. It's already evident that the job is more suitable for me over my previous position as a private investigator. The money is consistent and there is no wondering if I will have enough to expense for gas and hotels. I work Wednesday through Sunday from 2:30pm - 11pm. Not a huge change in schedule but it allows me to tend to things during the day and catch up on my media and blogs after work before bed. It's a fun job that has some aspects of being a drone but the images you edit are unpredictable and sometimes quite intriguing. I'm without a doubt able to say that I enjoy the job and all that it entails. I will be able to shoot in the mornings so there really isn't too much conflict except for the models who refuse to collaborate in the bright morning sun. 


We finally unveiled Dorothy, the tornado chasing vehicle two weeks ago and the reception from the community has been overwhelming! Brennan and Dan can finally see their hard work pay off, I'm just hoping that I can see a tornado after I sacrificed a pair of jeans from a snare on Dorothy a few months back.  The guys have been very busy giving presentations about Dorothy and the overall goals and agendas for the upcoming tornado season. We don't intend to intercept a tornado but capture slow motion footage that can be used to pinpoint weak infrastructure and help for future construction to help combat the potential damage of tornados. The FS700 is ready to help assess such situations and it will be quite the summer. You can follow Team Dorothy and the Iowa Storm Chasing Network on multiple forms of social media so you can stay up to date with everything. The ability to see so many people intrigued by the massive beast that we call Dorothy is beyond instant gratification to see young minds so interested is just overwhelming. 

A7 Firmware

So i've been so busy I haven't been able to install the new firmware on the A7 which decreases start up time and increases image quality so once I have achieved that I'll deliver the details of what I have found. After reading several sources many say that it's remarkable! I'm just pleased to see Sony releasing firmware for their flagship cameras so soon after release! Wedding videos and more are just around the corner as well as details for the Camera & Photoshop classes this spring and summer! Stay Tuned!



Snow Kiss with Marlyssa at Minnehaha  Falls

Cathedral of St. Paul 

4 hours on a Sunday (My Studio By)

So last week I took a tour of a great place located in downtown Des Moines, My Studio By. It's a facility that caters to photographers who may not necessarily have a place of their own and has props, furniture, lighting etc. which makes the set up and tear down process quite a bit quicker! It offers three studios and offers reasonable rates. I was fortunate enough to reserve during a special so I spent 5 hours in the amazing facility and photographed a few faces. My reason behind the spur of the moment shoot is that once my job starts my time with the camera will be limited as i'll be consumed by work and some of my vacation days will be burned up so that I may continue to do weddings. I'm beyond excited to work again as you all know! March 10th is almost here! Back to the studio shoot, so for 4 hours I rocked natural light as I forgot my HVL43 flash for the A7, I had also planned on a behind the scenes video as well but the VG20 was left at home right next to the phone charger that I forgot to pack. All lessons to me, definitely not new as I have a tendency to forget things once in a while, not too often but just enough to keep my ability to forget things relevant. I'll upload a few more on occasion and hopefully orchestrate another shoot maybe during a weekend in between training before I officially start my job! 


Stay warm as we enter another polar vortex!


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Aurora Borealis

One of my new favorite shows in the sky aside from the meteor showers that occur year round made an appearance as my birthday came to an end. The Northern Lights were strong enough to be visible from central Iowa and it was truly a surreal few hours as I stayed outside until 4 am. I look forward to capturing the light show from a point further north but the show still managed to display some color and have a few pillar formations occur! Two local news stations aired the image below during their broadcast which was a nice surprise. I just enjoy sharing what those who were deep in slumber missed out on. It was quite the treat after a pleasant evening of drinks and sushi! I've got a wedding in a few hours and a studio tour immediately after, and somewhere in between it all I'm going to go shoot footage of the blizzard conditions that are expected to cover the state. So the lengthy blog potential will be cut short as my bed yearns for me to attempt to get some sleep.


Stay safe




Screw cocaine, Centrum Silver is on my brain

Growing up I always got pissed when Centrum Silver ads ran during my morning cartoons, as if only individuals 50 years and older were the only ones allowed to take the vitamin. Well as of now I am 25 so I feel as if I'm entitled to half a vitamin, I'll gladly turn it down in the event that someone offers me one as I would hate to have the fond memories of Flintstone vitamins tainted. 25 years of life is actually surreal, I feel like just yesterday I was impatiently waiting for Y2K to screw up society, and enjoying the monthly commercials of new versions for America Online. 

Where have I evolved over the years? In every facet manageable I've learned quite a bit along the way without a doubt. I earned stitches from a pillow fight and still enjoy Life cereal with my milk on the days I actually wake up before 10 am. With a new year of life I am pleased to announce a new chapter as well! Once again I am finally employed once again and have accepted a position with Gannett, as an Image Specialist. It's a job that shares my passion and I don't have to travel to slums working for a shady company, plus they actually have benefits! Can't knock down benefits! 

I've got a wedding coming up and baby piglets to photograph this week so it will be a pleasant week moving forward. Hopefully once I finish paying off the A7 and murdering the never ending student loans I can look at picking up the Zeiss 55mm which has been touted as the highest image quality producing auto-focus lens ever tested by DxO. As always the state fair photography salon is cooking in the back of my mind as I anticipate what shots to enter. I'm taking a trip back to Minneapolis in 10 days to see the girlfriend for a late valentine's day/ birthday date weekend. I'll convince her to take me to Minnehaha Falls and hopefully capture a stunning image of the 54 foot water fall in its' winter form with heavy contrast to consider for submission. 

After several inquiries from people I'm going to offer classes in regards to cameras and the editing suite of Photoshop this spring and summer so if you're interested feel free to contact me. Sometimes devices have a tendency to intimidate us and the more you understand your camera or the capabilities of photoshop and the learning curves the happier you will find yourself! 

Lastly I've returned to heavy video animation and production  with weddings being in the slow season and lately I've been on a time lapse spree. Head over to the instagram and check out the mini clips of sunsets and evening traffic. A few big ones are in the works and I look forward to capturing a few of tornadoes this spring! 


Off to bed

Don't put the cameras down!



"Biggie" SEL50 F/1.8 1/500 ISO50

"Biggie" SEL50 F/1.8 1/500 ISO50


A new woman has come into my life named Dorothy, she is bigger than my typical preference, she has rough skin and bullet proof glass. Dorothy isn't a divine female but rather a tornado chasing vehicle that I will be trusting with my life this spring as the tornado season starts. I've put in countless hours over the past week getting to know Dorothy and everything that she is capable of. I've spent late nights helping fabricate and get Dorothy ready for everything she will be doing this year. She is similar to a tank with a dash of Ford. I've slacked on my media as a result of the labor and time but the results that Dorothy will allow are far more important than the immediate tasks. I will have the ability to finally chase tornadoes and capture both film and images of one of earths most marvelous creations while simultaneously experience the after math and devastation that something so beautiful can cause. I arrived late to the project as the two true masterminds have been meticulously working on Dorothy for close to two years. Starting originally as a work van the V10 under  the hood, Dorothy is going to see new life. Brennan Jontz and Daniel Auel have poured hours into preparing the vehicle for what is around the corner from constant welding to maintenance so that everything is smooth sailing. It had been years since I last held  an angle grinder and my first night in the shop I was grinding away at the excess around the frame so that the vehicle was good to go for a special  coating. There is a lock down on what can be posted of Dorothy but rest assured these two fine gentlemen mean business. They are both younger than me but Dorothy alone displays the true drive and passion  they both have! I'm eager to continue working with them and for what is in store this summer. My job wont be as convenient for chasing however I'm sure I will get a few under my belt. I look forward to meeting more individuals associated with the Iowa Storm Chasing Network and other enthusiasts. This year will be quite the wild ride so stay tuned for updates! 



2000 photos a few opportunities on the path we call life


Today marked my 2000th upload to the ever addicting portal of Instagram. On April 3rd, 2012 Instagram made it's way to the Android platform, I instantly downloaded the program and started sharing my visions. Whether people enjoyed them or not it allowed me a peaceful place to upload 640x640 images. I've networked with quite a few people who share the same interests or utilize the same cameras and lenses that I own. As well as individuals overseas who are just talented and refreshing when I'm in need to view some photographs. Of course like anybody I follow my dear friends and other people who are hyper local. I think it's more than just documenting and sharing, Instagram allows you to collaborate and express yourself in a way facebook sometimes can't. Sure there are the annoying hashtags but they aren't annoying when utilized correctly. I can type #SKYPORN and see if the upcoming sunset is going to be worth heading out and taking photographs of. I can find history that although just happened is immediately imprinted upon millions. In the 2,000 photos posted I've received 8,256 likes, and 623 comments. Interacted with countless people, discovered techniques, ideas and concepts that without the application may have never even entered my mind. So for everything so far that has come to be because of the wonderful powerhouse I'm thankful! Never hurts to throw in a shameless plug so if you have something you want to share or are looking for a new face to follow hit me up @DJCFOOT.


Tomorrow I have a big interview downtown for what is likely to become my next job, finally something closely associated to what I studied and am truly passionate about. It will help occupy the excessive amounts of free time I find myself experiencing plus allow me to further develop my current skills! 


Yesterday I locked in a wedding that will occur in Minnesota, it's a pinnacle moment for me in the sense that I'm not locked to simply Iowa or the Des Moines Metro area. I am working to define the craft and everyday developing my style so that in 10 years it is recognized as a fixture. Not for me but for the countless couples who granted me the opportunity to capture their special day. Weddings are in no sense cheap but I'm operating in a manner that couples will finally see they are receiving what they deserve. Sure a few new lenses will their way in the arsenal inside my camera bag but it's about pleasing the masses by capturing what history has allowed to happen. To put the icing on the growing cake I booked my first wedding for 2016. Which at first I was skeptical about, not knowing if I would be still in Des Moines, or already relocated to the Twin Cities. Plus I pondered the idea of a couple potentially calling it off and then losing the date to other interested couples in the months leading up to the request. I stepped back and simply thought whatever happens is for a reason and I'm willing to continue the journey regardless. 


Keep breathing



Thoughts of clarity and personal well being (yoga)


The Boudoir Bash didn't take off, am I distraught about it? Absolutely it's an art form that shares multiple forms from intimacy to appreciation. I'll orchestrate another event sometime in the near future and approach it in a more unique manner. I've got a few private sessions but I felt slightly shot down when I coordinated with the hotel and management for the event, hired talents to provide their services so that the women and men could feel like they were truly royalty. However the weeks leading up to the event things came up for multiple participants and the number of participants 4 days before the event fell to 6. It's not about the money for me but I just couldn't justify utilizing an entire day for two women and have them walk away with what I felt was less than they both deserved. I'm doing a few private sessions which wont have champagne or cupcakes or the lavish set up that was anticipated however I can still deliver stunning works of art that cross from my visions into the index finger of my hand as I apply pressure to the shutter.

I will change the tone and get positive as January is rapidly coming to an end and February will be greeting me with my 25th birthday among many other things. At the top of the list is the joy of becoming employed once again as I'm eager to have something to look forward to once again and what is before me is a job in which I am already adamantly passionate about. Once things are finalized I will announce the news but for the moment it shall remain a secret!

State Fair & Photographs

Im heavily anticipating this year's Iowa State Fair as I will be participating in the Photography Salon once again. A few unique things about this year is that all entries must be in black and white. A category for film has been added, and this year participants may enter up to 5 images. I typically never photograph in black and white however the A7 has a black and white option and it helps me visualize what I'm trying to truly capture. It's still a little colder than I would like it to be but I'm making mental notes daily to calculate what I need for my entries. As for the 5 classes I'm considering I still haven't made the final decision there but last night while I sifted through some  photos that I had taken last year one instantly spoke to me. 

Old Vs. New - NEXVG20 w/ SEL18200

The title for the image came to my mind immediately, Old Vs. New - I wasn't aware at the time but the Berghoff Restaurant is a historical piece of Chicago located on Adams Street. It has gone unchanged since the 1950's, and the bright sign can't be missed! I was walking to the giant bean to do what any tourist to Chicago would do. Snap photographs of it and admire my own reflection! I quickly observed the Bentley Continental GT with it's hazards on as if the owner of the vehicle was inside enjoying lunch. I paid no attention to the situation, simply admired the luxurious car as I continued walking in the frigid temperatures. It was just before I turned my head and kept walking that an elderly gentleman exited the restaurant and stopped to admire the beautiful vehicle with his briefcase in hand, dressed from head to toe in black. For this moment in time the young and the old glance at one another in a historical part of Chicago. 

I will slowly assemble a folder of images to consider for entry with hopes of placing this year. Last year I walked away with one photo on display out of three entries and it received an honorable mention. I'll keep you updated with the progress as June and July get closer.


Lastly personal well being, I'm no stranger to eating unhealthy items, having ice cream  for breakfast, or just not being active. 2013 was a dreary year for me, I sat in a surveillance vehicle for a majority of the year either performing my job or driving anywhere from three to sixteen hours to work. I ate horribly and was beyond sedentary. It was difficult eating healthy at 5 in the morning. Yesterday I met with a talented young man who is bringing new life to yoga and not only the importance but impact it can have. Matthew Koder not only instructs yoga but lives it, he managed to express such passion that I was overwhelmed with excitement. We discussed potential collaborations and ideas that we both agreed have huge potential. I also agreed to start practicing yoga with his guidance, I will document my progress and look forward to greeting everyone with a healthier me both internally and externally. Too often I managed to make excuses for going to work out. Despite half of my Facebook timeline being consumed with people posting pictures in gym mirrors flexing. I'm not doing this for facebook likes but rather buying the time I have on this earth and with the mediums of photography and video. 

The journey continues

Stay Warm



Greeting 2014 with open arms and a boudoir bash

December Bride Haylee Mercer (Canon FD 50mm 1.8)

December Bride Haylee Mercer (Canon FD 50mm 1.8)

A new year and I already feel as if I am doing great! Since the last rant I have conquered a few weddings, covered some events, and added another lens to the line up! Things are slowly evolving including myself


I have recently jumped ship to DxO optics and have been blown away with the quality when compared to the Adobe Suite options and handling of RAW images.  

After rocking the Canon FD for the first December wedding it was clear Legacy glass is great at certain things. I love manual focus when assisted with Sony's Peaking setting however I needed something as fast as the aperture so on Christmas Eve I hit up the fine folks at and ordered the SEL50. It was a no brainer and the results were as expected. Sure the SEL50 is an APSC lens yet the A7 still gives it 10 megapixel images and I still manage to switch it to Full Frame when necessary and crop out the vignette. 

I'm eager to film the next wedding with the A7 and VG20 as a B- Cam as I received a Rode microphone for Christmas and from early tests  the results are just what I was hoping for allowing the audio to be more crisp and precise than the mounted microphone on the VG20. 


A few big things are in the works as I've said before and a majority of the events I can't speak on yet but I look forward to seeing them culminate and actually help build a larger platform for myself and those around me. I'm entering more contests in 2014 and collaborating with quite a few people.

I started the year off in Minneapolis with the girlfriend and her family. Minnesota is a wonderful state when it isn't welcoming you with a 60 degree below windchill. I reference the state not because my girlfriend lives there but because the future of my profession and evolution seems to rely on the larger city with greater opportunities. Sure I will find myself coming back to Des Moines for the occasional wedding but the market is just too small and saturated. I can't work a wedding for $200 when I'm on my feet for 15 hours and heavily invested in equipment and software. I'll remain in Iowa for the time being but just the subtle heads up that Minnesota is on the agenda and it doesn't mean the world will end! 


Shameless plug for the bash as I have a few spots left open on January 25th with the lovely Brianne Cummins styling hair and Allissa Davis doing make up! I've had the pleasure to work with both of them before and am beyond excited to collaborate once again! Complimentary Champagne and Cupcakes will accommodate the enjoyable afternoon and evening! Just in time for Valentines Day! If you're interested let me know! 



Oh you are a photographer? (Come get offended)

Just picking up the camera when the neighbor two houses down tells you that her gynecologist has a friend that she went to college with who slept with a guy who has a son in need of family pictures and will pay you $25 to take photos equates to you being a photographer. Well then Truck stop food is fine dining!

Art is subjective and that will forever be a truth set in stone that can't be argued. So you can spend hours in a classroom or a book but it's the progress and hands on experience that get you where you desire. 

It's not a facade it is a reality. I just skimmed over someone's Facebook profile and see suddenly their new job title is owner of a photography establishment? You can claim to be a photographer or videographer all day however I refuse to delve an ounce of respect towards you and your desired "profession" merely taking what should be a hobby and turning out crap material to paying people and claiming it's greatness. There are fundamentals and tiers beyond just making a facebook page and spamming the fuck out of everyone to suddenly get likes and claim that eqautes to being awesome! I'll applaud you for your slight sense of determination but I won't share much beyond a golf clap. 

It's not something you can just buy a DSLR or video camera and set up a facebook page and instantly change your job section to "Insert your name here photography"  it is a fucking ART! If you feel the entire diatribe you are about to read was aimed towards you then step back and evaluate shit! 

You can say "Isaac surely there are exceptions?" and my response is yes! A hyper local example is a young man who I am friends with on Facebook and he manages to crank out movies constantly and is crafting his trade, I am more than willing to go out of my way and give him some plugins and keyed up materials so he can progress further and do even more! This young man manages to express his passion even if he is shooting half the time in his parents house or using the same friends in all of his videos he goes from writing scripts and plotting to editing and producing. The kid has heart, so when he uses a simple HD camera you can pick up at Walmart it doesn't matter because I fucking enjoy watching his creations. Do I need to pat his back and tell him good job? Nope he knows the direction he is headed and he is truly talented he knows who he is. I didnt go out of my way to shake his hand at Gamestop two weeks ago for no reason. 

The next thing is people walking around and claiming to be a photographer or videographer yet don't even understand their own devices to the full potential let alone the specs they were equipped with out of the box. I'm sorry but when you just pick it up once a week I can't give you the fortune cookie you feel you deserve. Sure we all have busy lives but you should breathe and live what you claim is your profession. Do you go out of your way on a weekend to enjoy a coffee and fire up a star guide to calculate where the sun will break the horizon despite being 25 degrees out? Do you attend events and workshops with other eager people with a wealth of knowledge and opportunity to collaborate? If you answered no then you probably feel your shit is golden and nobody is better than you!

News Flash - That's not the proper mentality to approach any trade or service with. Find what suits you and make it yours, that doesn't mean someone else wont do it as well, it's about niche categories and what works. In no way am I here to squash your dream but maybe try and enter a few contests or build a portfolio before you go slanging photographer or videographer titles around. Break out of your element before you fill the mold that turns into nothing but an empty void. Cut business cards, build a network, shadow someone else do something fucking amazing. Spend hours on blogs and discover mentors whom despite never meeting have the ability to influence you visually and mentally. 

I'll be the first to admit you have to start somewhere but some individuals are approaching things so aggressively and for the wrong reasons. I can hear your name and just understand you're not in it for the passion and love. There is a huge line between taking a picture and being able to create a portrait which is something everyone must grasp. If it wasn't the case then I wouldn't be buying gear left and right and would just film weddings with my S4. However that will never be acceptable with the current technology. While it is relevant technology is a plagued with misconception, you can rock a film camera and have a blast with the hundreds of options of film and the color rendering that sometimes digital fails at but it's a multifaceted playing field. Just because you're a trust fund baby and receive a state of the art camera doesn't equate to walking around with the instant title of photographer. Have you even heard of the rule of thirds? Are you aware of the history in photography, do you go to the library just to research historic pieces, participate in high school and college classes, and just live and breathe the passion at every moment feasible?

Need a better perspective? I love food but can't cook beyond a grilled cheese or a box of hamburger helper but that doesn't mean tomorrow I will buy a nonstick pan and call myself a chef. This happens to applicable with so many occupations and fields, I can't change my oil so I pay someone who properly can, yes I immerse myself with car fiends and friends who live and breathe it but that's because it is what they love and all they breathe.Art will forever come in many forms and multiple mediums but don't come to the table and wear the badge that it's what you're about when you don't know the dials on your camera or the middle names of any individual in your black book of sexcapades. 

Don't walk to the table and devalue what myself and so many others live and breathe when you can't find your way out of the paper bag you arrived in. Hopefully this brief moment of truth finds the proper people and many others realize that this in no way was to tear anyone down. It just sucks beyond belief when someone tells me 

Jane Motherfucking Doe will shoot for X amount of dollars can you give a better offer?

No I will not stoop to that level, if you want to come over and edit your own wedding video and or photos and realize that it's painstaking then go for it but Jane Doe won't arrive at your wedding or event with half of the knowledge, ability to adjust and comprehend at even half the caliber that myself and so many others would arrive with. If I lose more clients so be it, I'm not going to tarnish my talent and ideals just so I can take a loss when I know the hours after the event takes. I'm writing this at 4 am because I just got done sending out photos to clients, filling in calendars and responding to inquiries. Let alone I have two shoots to finish editing and wedding videos to finish in time for the holidays.

Is this bragging? Fuck No it's merely displaying that it's a tedious process and walking out snapping 15 photos and calling it good won't suffice to someone who has previously worked with an individual or entity that knows what they are doing. Your ass will get burnt and you will be more torn down than if you had just been patient and completed the steps properly now you're stuck with bad relations and the word of mouth is the fastest way to clients and damage. Perform and act wisely because things are harder to build upon being torn down.

I will also throw in the mix that I don't do it for the money, and it seems that so many people feel it's a get rich quick scheme when in reality it's an expensive trade that isn't a hobby. Sure you can have Jane Doe do your event but will she roll up with versatility? I could sit here and mention 100 things that add up to being costly, then include travel and other expenses and you will see it's not entirely for the money. Personally it's capturing the moments others fail to grasp. It's meeting new people and forming relationships and watching people enjoy their special day, or help capture one day that will forever be memorable. Far too often people end up thinking if they invest in an entry level unit that they can turn a $600 investment into $60,000 a year. You deserve to be hit the face and realize investments and fundamentals. It's a business not a hobby, there are so many things that you have to understand and grasp before things start going your way. 

If I have managed to offend you then I'm sorry as I haven't even broke the surface. I honestly should make a video rant and outline everything that I want to discuss but I've spent an hour just pulling small things together. I think since I love animals I will become a veterinarian in the morning.  

I truly hope you walk away and feel that I am an absolute asshole or an insensitive prick because if you walked away feeling like that's reality then you misconstrued this entire blog entry. 

Be modest and reasonable, I dont give a shit what you charge or do but when you fuck up a couples wedding that is the turmoil you have to live with. So don't say multiple people didn't warm you because they thought it I just took the time to deliver the message. 

Have a wonderful day!



Note:I will be spending the next few days in Minneapolis so expect to see some new photographs and new scenery! Stay Warm!


Nomad Sculpture - Des Moines, Iowa

Happy Thanksgiving!

It's 2 am but nonetheless I am up and cranking away on multiple things including wedding videos and a Black Friday Boudoir promotion that I have had up my sleeve for a while. 

50mm FD from 1983

Tested the video capabilities of the A7 and there was no surprise that it kicked ass, it did heat a little bit after doing an hour of video but that is nothing that it will face on a wedding day unless it's a Catholic wedding but the VG20 would become my A camera in that scenario. I'll run it for 8 hours straight and see how it does because I would hate to fry something on a wedding day. In the end I dont see it being problematic as the camera is so small and dissipates heat flawlessly.

Kicked it into continuous mode with a class 10 card and the 24mp raw images didn't even make it stutter which will be great for action photography and the auto focus implementation and focus points just put the cherry on top!

Put up the coveted Disney themed Christmas tree, putting Buzz Lightyear on the tree made me smile. Genie and baby Tarzan ended up in other locations but Disney is forever a part of the family. Filmed a timelapse and compressed the video into 13 seconds which you can find on instagram.

Tomorrow I will fall into a turkey and pie induced coma with the A7 in my hands and I'll test out the newly cleaned Canon FD lenses and cover my taste buds in greatness. 

For Black Friday you can expect a Boudoir Special at the exquisite Hotel Fort Des Moines with a to be determined date. Couples will be welcomed and the A7 will by then have the flash adapter so I can use all my flashes again.

December weddings are almost here and I'm ecstatic to capture memories in stunning clarity and get prints ordered. I have so many ideas and unique poses stacked that I've just been waiting to check off the list!


-Happy Thanksgiving to all!



2013 camera of the year

It is no surprise the A7r came in and claimed the crown from Photo Pop today (


Sony  takes the crown once again, over the past four years Sony has claimed the crown for three of them! Well I had the opportunity to pick the brain of a Sony rep at a local photography store and finally hold the A7r for two hours. With out sounding like an absurd fan I have to say I was so impressed with the build quality and light weight compact form it is truly living up to the expectations that have come to be since I started following the rumors back in July. 



Overly impressed with the eye focus feature that was so quick and concise. The camera was a test model rocking the .90 firmware so it wasn't up to par with lens recognition so when the rep put on the 10-18mm E-Mount the pincushion effect was almost tasteful and appreciated. Of course mounting APSC lenses on the full frame led to vignette edges but you can look past it and still admire the camera in its full beauty. Had the chance to also test the upcoming Zeiss lenses and the clarity was as you would expect with Zeiss. 

I was then pressed with an offer from the shop, I could purchase the camera a week before release in the United States. It was as if Santa Claus just presented his bag of gifts and said

"Hey I know you really want this Isaac! I watched you log on at 3 am and place your preorder why not enjoy it a week early and have it in your hands to photograph the moments that occur at Thanksgiving?"

Immediately I told them my situation and that I would cancel my order with Amazon. The frugal part of me realized I would then be paying tax on the purchase but in the end it appears more than worth it as I can enjoy the camera at Thanksgiving and contribute to a locally owned and operated store which has suddenly started carrying more Sony gear and that in the long run is more than worth it. The staff was so friendly I wasn't sure if it was because they wanted to test my  A7 and kit lens or just that they were pleased that I wasn't a customer asking the same questions they are bombarded with daily. Either way the end result was the A7r and A7k they were told would arrive actually didn't arrive. An employee called me in the evening and stated he chewed out Fedex and was told the package was in  Grimes and would be delivered tomorrow and he plans on calling me upon arrival. So there you have it, I will have my camera early, while assisting a locally owned business rather than Amazon where I am just a number and run the risk of not receiving the camera in time despite the likeliness that they received plenty of the cameras  and I am for certain I was in the front of the queue for orders. So tomorrow evening I will walk out with charged batteries and completely explore the camera adjust to the new button locations and difference compared to my VG20 and enjoy the new lens.  

I did not walk out of the store empty handed, as the Sony rep gave me a complimentary Sony travel mug which was much appreciated as I haven't had one in at least a year and what better way to enjoy coffee than reading the Sony logo on my coffee cup. 

Well it is time to edit some pie video  and get some rest before tomorrow's adventures! Continuing to apply for jobs and within weeks I should have something to help pay for the accessories on my wishlist! 


Stay warm and bundle up!




F/8 - ISO100- 8 Sec 

It goes to 11

There you have it, I've been missing in action for a brief while as I prepare for numerous things as well as continue the job search of something that is more accommodating to the photography and video filled weekends. I am just blessed to not be stuck in a van recording people lying using a low quality camera, I will honestly never miss those days! I referenced 11 not only because Spinal Tap is a cult classic but because there are 11 days until the A7 and new FE Lens arrive at my doorstep! I plan on filming an opening video of the camera and then immediately rush out the door and photograph whatever my heart desires. As I write this snow continues to sprinkle on the ground which leads me to believe I will be doing macro snow flakes again in an effort to capture the perfect one for an entry in the 2014 Iowa State Fair. I have included a photograph I ventured out and captured this morning of the heavy fog as traffic picked up this morning from atop a pedestrian bridge. Stay tuned for a few overhauls and some big announcements in a few days!

SEL18200 - ISO 100 @ F22

SEL18200 - ISO 100 @ F22

Stay Warm!


The door of opportunity has opened

If we're friends on the social networking sites then you are probably familiar with what all has taken place in the past 24 hours. Then again I didn't really break the surface on what all went down but what it boils down to is that I am no longer a private investigator. It was a great 9 months of work and I made some serious cash but with every positive a negative manage to rest in the shadows. 

I was working 50-70 hours a week sometimes with 30 hours being spent driving on the desolate roads in the middle of nowhere to arrive at a hotel late at night only to get a few hours of sleep before having to wake up and repeat everything again. The job allowed me some phenomenal opportunities to travel and see places I otherwise would never venture to but it also prevented me from seeing those who mean the most to me. Family is everything as they are the support system of life and since January I've spent maybe 30 days at my home. I've driven 52,000 miles in a company van that just wasn't the place for me! I went to school for Electronic Media and communications for me to continue being cooped up in a van just didn't boil down to being ideal.

At times I felt it was the greatest job in the world and that I would do it forever however how can I manage to still remain close to family and friends when my social life was borderline infinitesimal. I'd make plans and they would inevitably fall through as I would end up being scheduled to work out of nowhere. I never knew where I would be the next week and it was impacting my health. Eating like shit on the road constantly, not many places are on the healthy side at 5 in the morning. I gained weight from being sedentary as I preyed on the slime balls of society who preyed on receiving their checks monthly that they were undeserving of.  

Do I regret doing it? Not at all, I knew going in it would be intensive but never did I think at one point I would work for 2 months straight and have no days off. I could sit and argue labor laws and proceed to court but I don't have time for such efforts. I'm a free soul that was finally granted the door of opportunity. I've got a new camera on the way weddings on weddings piled up and will just continue furnishing my craft. Things always work out in the end and if anything it is merely the waiting game of life. I honestly feel happier already as I am not merely a number being sent all over the Midwest but once again an individual who is appreciated and further able to impact people. The website will finally get the attention it deserves, wedding videos will finally see full completion and I wont have to worry daily about plans falling through. In a sense this is the new me!

St Louis Take 2

Back to work after having 5 days off, I almost forgot how to do my job. Not really it all comes back to me the second my alarm goes off. I found myself driving through Saint Louis on Saturday and decided why not stop and capture another skyline image. It was in August I received an honorable mention award at the State Fair for my HDR image of the skyline. With that in mind I figured it wouldn't be too difficult, well to my surprise I had to wait a half hour for a train to move so that I could approach my perch and snap away. 

 Upon the train leaving I pulled up and set up shop. Where is my remote for the VG20? Of course in Iowa where it shouldn't be! So I used the trusty self timer and snapped away. Making slight alterations at each exposure value stop. If I could change anything it would be to have had my $200 tripod with me, because sure the Manfrotto I am carrying is light and nimble but it manages to catch every infinitesimal thrust of wind.   

 I'll be back in St. Louis and next time with the new A7  and able to capture the skyline in its' full frame glory. Regardless I am pleased with the image as it not only shows the skyline in its' nightlife state but it also shares the bright lights that were shining upon Busch Stadium as the Cardinals played game 3 of the world series. A timeless moment in any case!

Stay tuned for new photos, I've got a maternity shoot this week as well as a few other collaborations during my time back in Iowa!  




St. Louis Skyline 10.26.2013