It’s been a busy time for me lately. Just back from a trip to a Texas I headed right back out of town to attend WPPI in Las Vegas, Nevada. What is a commercial photographer doing at a wedding and portrait convention and trade show? Well I have to admit that WPPI convention and educational resources don’t do much for me because it’s not designed to address my needs as a commercial photographer. But I do have a lot of fun hanging out with 10,000 other photographers and partying. The main reason I attend is the trade show. It’s great to see all of the latest and greatest gear, software and lighting equipment. I get to visit with the people who actually design my favorite software and products. I do have to be careful to not get too enthusiastic about the new products because lots of things are cool but don’t really add value to my business.
I attended several marketing classes and a drone class, while my daughter who is a boudoir photographer attended classes on posing, lighting and boudoir. I try to bring someone new each year to help them expand their horizons and take advantage of this wonderful educational resource. Usually I bring one of my assistants or an intern. This year I brought a local gal who’s work I’ve been watching. She has oodles of creativity but I could see she needs to work on her technical skills. It was a lot of fun introducing her to WPPI. I wish she could have attended more more classes but I think by the time she left she had absorbed as much as she could in this short of a time.
If you are wanting to improve your portrait or wedding photography check out WPPI.
Nikon Pro services gave free camera cleanings to NPS members. They also spoiled us with food & drinks when we dropped our cameras off , which was nice because a plain old bottled water was $4 at the convention center!
I’ve had a hard time finding set stylists, wardrobe stylists and food stylists in southern Utah. If you know any who does high quality, detailed styling in our area, PLEASE send me their contact info! I have had to get people from Salt Lake City and Las Vegas to do my projects. It adds a lot to the overhead of producing a shoot, I’d rather use locals if I can. So do me a favor and be on the look out for people that would like styling work.
It was a downpour when I woke up. I couldn’t sleep in so I made coffee and watched the morning news until daylight. I decided to get ready before everyone else was up. Just as I finished the sun came out! It was beautiful! My daughter and I decided to walk a block south to a little bakery I’d seen in some of the travel blogs. The “Cinderella Bakery” is a german bakery. The shop was quaint and the food was amazing! I wanted to try one of everything. Kira chose one thing and I chose another so we could share. We ate on the patio (on the street). It was so relaxing, just sitting back and people watching. THIS was the real SanFrancisco! A real neighborhood…people going about their everyday lives…not some tourist attraction. My favorite things we did in San Francisco ended up being in the local neighborhood, the small local businesses, mom & pop owned places, that were “real”. I am so glad we stayed at a AirBnB! It was a totally different experience than we would have had in a hotel!
On our way north we stopped at the Golden Gate Bridge to get the typical tourist photos. The sun was shining and the fog lifted just enough to see the bridge, but it was short lived …by the time we drove around to the lighthouse point to view it from there the fog had rolled back in and we couldn’t see much.
We drove north to Muir woods and walked one of the main trails. It was beautiful, so green and moist, definitely a shock for us kids from the desert. From there we drove to the Point Reyes Lighthouse. We got there 10 minutes after it closed!!! We didn’t know it closed at 4:30! So darn frustrating…it was a long drive for nothing! We couldn’t even see the lighthouse through the fog!
We drove on up the coast and east to Ukiah for dinner, then drove another 20 minutes to the AirBnB we rented in Potter Valley. It was late when we got there so we couldn’t really see the surrounding area. The house was clean and nicely furnished. It was odd that there were no curtains or blinds on the windows, it kind of felt like we were in a fish bowl! We tried to figure out how to hang something up on our bedroom windows but couldn’t find anything so we decided we’d figure it out in the morning.
We got up early and it was already raining lightly. We weren’t surprised because the forecast said there would be rain for the rest of the trip. We had an early tour scheduled for Alcatraz Island so we got down to the docks just before daylight. The rain let up just as we found a parking spot. We went for a stroll and looked around while we waited for our tour. I was dying for a second cup of coffee but none of the shops in the area were opened yet.
The tour to Alcatraz was interesting. It was a cold, damp, dreary and depressing place. It was so odd to see all of these tourists smiling and laughing as they took selfies behind the bars and in the cells, in this place that was filled with such pain and negative energy. It seemed so wrong, it was unsettling, it definitely bothered me to be there. It was a relief to get out of the buildings for a breath of fresh air and explore the grounds and the views of the bay. The fog was lifting and we could just get a good view of the Golden Gate Bridge as we boarded the ferry for a ride back to the city.
We walked north to Fisherman’s Wharf where we had lunch. I can’t even remember what I had to eat but I do remember the Moscow Mules 😉 . After exploring the Fisherman’s Wharf and buying some souvenirs we walked to Ghirardelli Square to check it out. We sampled some chocolate which was pretty good. Next, we walked to Lombard Street. It was a hell of a workout! The road was so steep that my calves were burning after about a block…it was a darn long walk!!!! We watched the cars winding down Lombard Street for a couple of minutes then we walked down it looking for a good vantage point for pictures. I didn’t really like what I got. I needed a higher viewpoint but my feet were so tired I wasn’t about to go find it! Besides, that photo has been taken a million times and I don’t need a duplicate.
From there we walked all the way down to China Town and then over the hill through the financial district back to the Pier where we parked this morning. It was a fun day but my feet were sooooo tired! We drove by the “Painted Ladies” on our way back to the AirBnB we rented. After we got back to the rental, I went down the street and got the stuff for Moscow Mules and kicked back and relaxed for awhile before dinner. For dinner, we walked a couple of blocks to a local Vietnamese place. The food was really good and inexpensive. The kids decided to go find some “nightlife” but my feet were telling me I was too old for that stuff …at least I am tonight… so my daughter and I went back to the rental to kick back and watch some tv.
My first periscope of Macro Monday 🙂 I haven’t posted video from Periscope before … so sorry about the skinny vertical format. It’s a learning process for me. It was also my first time using the new Case Relay from Tether Tools. It’s an awesome way to power your camera via standard electric outlet or using an external power pack. The best part is you can switch power packs without interrupting your time lapse! Helps avoid so many headaches!!!!
On Saturday I did a photo shoot for a local company, Most Wanted Jeans. They arranged for us to shoot at “The Granary” in Santa Clara. I suggested this location because I fell in love with their patio while driving by. Although I knew they existed, I just hadn’t tried them out before. The setting is beautiful! They have a lovely patio with gardens and fountains. It has the mood of a little European bistro. The historic granary building has been lovingly restored and is a nice centerpiece for this little gem. Pat and her staff were very sweet and accommodating. They were the models for the product we were shooting (aprons).
After our photo shoot we stayed to sample the cuisine. Their menu may be small but what they do, they do to perfection! My daughter and I had the Quiche Lorraine and my son had their special, baked Caramel Apple French Toast. (BTW, if you don’t like bacon…make sure you order the vegetarian quiche. This was loaded with bacon! 😊 yum!!! ) Everything was fresh and delicious. It’s worth the drive! Go try the Granary, I know you won’t be disappointed!
Patricia – the owner (and fabulous model)
iPhone pic – Quiche
iPhone pic – Baked Caramel Apple French Toast
The Granary Cafe summer hours are Wednesday through Sunday 8 am to 3 pm. Click on the link to take you to their website and menu.
This past weekend I attended a wonderful food styling workshop taught by Suzy Eaton. It was set up though ASMP Mountain West and hosted by Pictureline. There was a wealth of information provided. Suzy showed us the tools of her trade. It’s amazing how much a stylist can bring to your team. It’s kind of ironic that most photographers I know complain about amateurs in the market….but at the same time they try to do their own graphic design, web site, wardrobe, set and food styling. I feel like we need to remember how important it is to hire other professionals!
When I have a team working on a project each member brings so much to the table as far as talent and creativity. I love having a stylist on my shoots. It frees me to do my job and truly focus on the creative aspects of my photography. I haven’t worked with Suzy yet but I hope to in the near future. I have been an admirer of her work for quite awhile.
Art’e Gallery is having a party…and YOU are invited!
Hey everyone, please check this out! It’s this afternoon…be there!
It’s truly something to celebrate a small biz surviving 7 years in this economy! It shows the dedication, hard work and amazing customer service pays off.
It’s so important to support each other! See you there!
I have had a lot of people ask what I use to carry my photography equipment… It depends on what I am shooting. If I’m traveling (road trip) I always use a Pelican roller case. Then I don’t have to panic if I hear the ice chest tip or cringe when someone tosses something on my camera bag. It may be bulky but I love that it’s completely sealed and waterproof/ dust proof! My Pelican cases are where I store almost all of my equipment. I have pelican cases for my main camera gear, for my speed lights and for my big strobes.
If I’m hiking I use a Clik Elite Bottle Rocket Backpack, which I love. It’s very comfortable. ( I have a review of it on this blog.) It has two side pockets for lenses so I can change a lens on the go without stopping to remove the backpack.
If I’m flying I tend to use a Think Tank Urban Disguise carry on. It fits a ton of stuff in a small space. It also fits easily into the overhead storage or under the seat.
When I’m hanging out with my kids it’s a Shoot Sac Tote n Shoot. It fits my camera with a 70-200 2.8 lens plus there’s plenty of room for all of the stuff a mom needs to haul (wallet, keys, phone, water bottles, snacks, wipes, sunscreen, glasses, hat, etc.). It doesn’t look or feel like a camera bag so it’s perfect for casual occasions and for keeping my camera inconspicuous.
Back when I specialized in weddings I really loved my Shoot Sac Lens Bag. It is comfortable and fits nicely against my body. It has changeable covers to match my outfits. The lens bag offers fast access to a lens or two and a flash, memory cards & extra batteries . I still use it when shooting events. It’s funny because each time I take it out and use it I remember why I loved it so much…I don’t know why I don’t use it more often.
This last item isn’t a storage case and doesn’t protect my gear but I have to say I use my Spider Pro Holster almost all of the time! I was in an auto accident 1 1/2 years ago and have not been able to handle the weight of a camera hanging on my neck or shoulders since the accident. The Spider holster is great!!! It puts the weight on my hips. I may look funny (my kids call me “Yosemite Sam” because they think I look like I’m ready for a shoot out) but I can work for hours with it on while carrying two pro bodies with big lenses. You would be surprised how much my cameras weigh! I am a practical lady so comfort tends to win out over fashion. My poor teens will just have to put up with a mom that looks like a “dork”. 😉
After I was done with the Vincent Laforet – Directing Motion Workshop, we spent the evening walking around in the downtown area including Temple Square. It was nice to have a mini-vacation with my girls.
The next day, on our way home, we went to the gardens at Thanksgiving Point. It was pretty. I imagine they will actually be nicer in a month or so after they get filled in a little more. They were doing a lot of planting when we were there. If you go to that area don’t forget to hit the outlet mall by Cabela’s 🙂 (There were some great deals.)