Sunday, February 20, 2011

Dynamo Soccer Spring 2011 Update

Spring 2011 Photo Day Scheduled
Mark your calendars. Photo Day for the Recreational League Spring season is tentatively scheduled for the weekend of April 16 and 17. I'll be at Schenley Park both days for both team/individual photos, and also for in-game photos. We will also schedule a makeup weekend when I'll be at the field to photograph anyone who missed the first weekend.

We're also planning to photograph the Travel League teams also. All of the details haven't been finalized yet; I will let you know once they are.

Save Even More with Prepaid Photo Vouchers
I've always offered special promotions and discounts to help parents save money. For a limited time, I'll be offering another way to save even more: prepaid photo vouchers. The voucher is good for $20 towards your order, but only costs $18. That's a 10% savings, which can be combined with other discounts that I offer for even greater savings.

Photo Vouchers work just like a gift card (except that you don't get double FuelPerks, sorry!). You purchase the voucher in advance, and then enter the voucher code during order checkout. The voucher amount is deducted from your order total, and you only need to pay for the remaining balance of the order. If your order total is less than the amount of the voucher, then you pay nothing; and the order total is deducted from the voucher balance. You can use the remaining voucher balance on a subsequent order, simply by entering the voucher code again.

Vouchers can only be purchased until March 11, and will only be available in $20 values for $18. You can purchase multiple $20 values if you choose. You will receive a single voucher code via email for the full value you purchased, since only one voucher code can be used per order. To order your Photo Voucher, please click below:

Edit: Link removed after sale ended.

New Sports Photo Products Coming
One of the new things I'll be doing is to offer a greater variety of personalized and gift products. There will be a new Dynamo soccer border that you will be able to order for your prints, and I'm also bringing back the Memory Mate Mug, which includes a player photo, player information, and a team photo. If you have any additional product suggestions, please email them to I'd love to hear your ideas!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine's Day Treat

One of the advantages of working as a photographer is that I can make time during the day for my kids' activities at school. Of course, this also usually means that I'm asked to take photos at the activity. Which I'm perfectly fine with. Such is the case this past Monday, when my younger son's class was having a special Valentine's Day treat at school. (I guess once you hit the age of 10, it isn't cool to exchange actual valentines any more). The Class Mom (who does an incredible job of organizing these things) wanted to have strawberry shortcake for the kids, and I (along with several other parents) offered to help serve the goodies. Class Mom dropped a not-so-subtle hint that it would be nice if I took photos. Like I said, not a problem. As it turned out, many of the parents had to cancel at the last minute, due to a cold bug that is going around the school. That actually worked out better, because the space we had to work in was cramped, and it really doesn't take that many parents to fix the treats. As you can see, the treats looked delicious, and were a huge hit with the kids.

Winter Sports Shoot

Winter isn't always the best time to be photographing models outside. It can be cold, wet, and miserable. But it can also be a different and unique backdrop. I decided to try and take advantage of the situation by trying to set up some shootings based on the theme of "Winter Fun". I wanted to use winter sports, as well as year-round sports like running or bicycling. I posted this as a casting call on ModelMayhem, and waiting to see if any models might be interested. After a few days I got a response from Jaci Lilly. Besides modeling, Jaci is a marathoner and a personal trainer. She loved the idea of getting some outdoor running shots.

We lucked out and had some sunny but cold days, when there was still plenty of snow on the ground. We met a Frick Park after Jaci had finished her morning training run. Jaci was a trooper, doing numerous run-bys. Even though Jaci is used to running in the cold, I kept the session to under an hour because we were outside the entire time.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Judy at Panera Bread

Over the years I have spent quite a bit of time at the various Panera Bread stores in the Pittsburgh area. With their free WiFi and great food, they make a good place to work when I need to get out of the house, or if I need to meet a potential client. And sometimes it is interesting to just sit there and observe people. They study, conduct business, meet friends, or just take a break. Many Paneras also have a semi-private room if you need to have a meeting. All of which can make for an interesting photograph.

So I decided to set up a shooting using one of the semi-private meeting rooms. There is no rental charge for the room, but you are expected to purchase $50 of food and drink. From the outset I figured this would be a multi-model shoot, and the $50 food and drink charge would provide refreshments and snacks for the models, which would be a nice perk (for them and me). The theme of the shoot would be the different things people do at a place like Panera, and how they interact with each other. I reserved the room, and then set about lining up models. Then the fun started.

Ideally, I wanted to line up three models for the shoot. Now, I have a variety of models that I've worked with in the past, and several more that have contacted me about working together. So you wouldn't think lining up three models would be that hard. But all three models needed to be about the same height (so they wouldn't look out of place), and models can be anywhere from 4'11" to 5'11". So I decided on 5'5" as my "ideal", and tried to recruit models from 5'3" to 5'7". Of course this excluded two-thirds of the models I know. As it turned out, most of the models I contacted (who did meet the height requirement) were unavailable. In desperation I started contacting models on OneModelPlace and ModelMayhem, as well as posting a casting call on ModelMayhem.

This was my first time using the Model Mayhem website to recruit models. I've been a longtime (since 2004) user of OneModelPlace, but lately it seems that there are more local models on ModelMayhem. In addition, photographers seem to get more bang for their buck at ModelMayhem. On the flipside, I've also heard that there are more model no-shows there. And my experience on this shoot certainly seems to back that up! Of the three models I lined up for this shoot (all from ModelMayhem, two canceled the morning of the shoot, giving me less than 5 hours to try and line up alternates. So what started as a multi-model shoot ended up with just one model.

That one model was Judy. Judy is a student at the Oakbridge Academy of Arts in New Kensington, and is new to the modeling business. She was punctual, easy to work with, and took directions well. Although we got some great photos, there are still some multi-model themes and poses that I didn't get a chance to try. Most likely I will try to set up another multi-model shoot at Panera before the year is over.