I always wonder if my son will be interested in the things that I love. In one way I hope that he will; but in another way I know that I need to respect whatever path he chooses. Tonight, I came home after a stressful day feeling a little drained, hoping to just watch a movie with my 2-year-old son, Roman. As I sat down at my desk to check my email, he brought me the photo tripod. When I asked him what he was doing he replied, “working”. I unfolded the tripod and showed him how it worked and explained that the camera sits on top of the tripod. He repeated what I said in his own terms (like two-year-olds do) and then he looked me in the eyes and said, “get the camera”. To a photographer, that is a very meaningful thing. For a whole second I became excited and felt weightless, almost like I could fly. So I got out the camera, planted it on top of the tripod and proceeded to show him how to use it. He had a great time snapping photos of Daddy, and I started snapping photos of him. I know it’s a silly story, but he really made my day by becoming interested in my passion. Some day he may completely lose interest in photography, but we had this moment, and to me it was timeless and as long as my memory works, I’ll have it!
In the future (which starts now, and now…and now), I’m going to try to make more frequent, less detailed blog posts. I think that the future of business and of photography begins with better communication and connectedness, so I’m going to do my part as a photographer to stay connected with my photo clients and friends.
I’ll still have my standard lengthy, detailed blogs (usually 1-2 per week) that tell a story about a subject, like a wedding venue/couple that I photographed or about a particular topic; but I want to close the gap of going days without blogging, if possible, by making smaller “burst” blogs. My “burst” blogs will be short blogs or long if you compare them to Tweets.
It seems like I do more than enough self promotion on my blog, specifically about the kinds of photography that Austin Americana does and the kind of clients we work with. But what about other photographers here in Austin, Texas? Austin is full of fantastic and wonderful photographers who specialize in all kinds of photography, from weddings to landscapes. Central Texas has an enormous pool of talented artists who regularly display their work in galleries and on websites for public viewing and enjoyment. So in the spirit of sharing and promoting others work and talent, I’d like to tell my readers about some of the talented photographers I’ve worked with or admired here in Austin. Eight of the nine artists listed below are people I’ve been taught by, worked with and/or consider a good friend.
Peter Tsai, Austin Photographer: http://www.petertsaiphotography.com
I met Peter while taking a photography class through the University of Texas Informal Classes. He is a very talented and soft spoken individual who never ceases to amaze me with his creativity and ideas. A particular favorite of mine is his “b-boy” photography, capturing break dancing in a beautiful way.
Joseph Pettyjohn, Austin Photographer: www.pettyjohnphotography.com/
Joe has to be one of the most relaxed, laid back photographers I know. I learned about landscape photography from him years ago during a UT Class. He specializes in landscape photography and is rarely without one of his trademark hats.
Tim Babiak, Austin Photographer: www.exquisitephotoaustin.com/
Tim is an amazing portrait photographer who is overflowing with knowledge and information about portraiture. His photos are truly exquisite (like his business name) and his enthusiasm for photography is second to none. I have attended several of his Photography MeetUp groups which he graciously hosts and teaches at his home in Austin.
Carlos Austin, Austin Photographer: http://www.austinphotography.com
I probably know more about wedding photography because of Carlos than any other single source. Carlos is a 3rd generation Texas photographer who photographs portraits and weddings. He is a true professional and he is a very experienced photographer and planner.
John Langford, Austin Photographer: http://www.johnlangford.com/
John is a master portrait photographer who tells stories through a single photograph, which is an amazing talent. He has a magnetic personality that provokes brilliant responses from his clients who are photographed in his studio. He also brings a level of eccentricity to his work that is creative and has led him on a world-wide journey recently.
Jason Wang, Austin Photographer: http://jwangphotography.com
Jason is a very good friend of mine who also happens to be a talented and up-and-coming photographer. He is capable of shooting a studio portrait one day, sports action shots the next and then following up with beautiful macro-photos of insects. He photographed my family portrait and has shot next to me on several important photographic assignments.
Jamie Kovach, Austin Photographer: http://jamiekovach.com
Jamie is a true art photographer at heart. She photographed weddings with me and eventually photographed my wedding. She has a knack for capturing images in a surreal, yet simple way. She has now taken on a new challenge, pursuing a master’s degree in fine arts photography – something that I have a sneaking suspicion she’ll be very successful with.
Kirk Tuck, Austin Photographer: http://www.kirktuck.com/
Although I must admit I’ve never met Kirk, I thoroughly enjoy reading his Austin Photography Blog, where he frequently discusses new photographic products, lighting and puts a personal spin on all things photography. He is inspiring and talented and perhaps one day I’ll have the opportunity to meet him.
Heather Wise, Austin Photographer: http://www.heatherwisephotography.com
Heather is a talented up-and-coming wedding photographer. She has worked with me on a number of weddings and bridal sessions. She is devoted to the trade of photography and has wonderful insight into her work and telling a wedding story.
I frequently get requests by my photography clients to “Photoshop” – in or out something related to a photograph. This could be a bad tan, skin blemishes, teethe whitening or any number of other issues that can make people self conscious about their photograph. There are definitely some amazing things that you can do with Adobe’s famous Photoshop software, but my studio doesn’t use it. We use Adobe Lightroom – a powerful photo editor and manager for photographers who take lots of photos, especially for wedding photographers like myself. Although Lightroom doesn’t have the breadth of options provided in Photoshop, it still allows photographers to make amazing edits to photographs. Recently I photographed individuals for portrait sessions where the photograph would be featured in highly circulated publications (read: magazine). That means that my clients not only wanted to look their best, but they wanted to look even better – and that’s where the magic of photo editing comes in.
Originally, when I visualized writing this blog I wanted to talk about the specifics of what I did during the editing process and show the before and after photos of my clients. But there is such a marked, visual improvement when comparing the original photo and the processed photo that I decided against showing the original, mostly to avoid being flogged by my clients – which is a good thing! Why? Well, first of all I don’t enjoy getting flogged and not getting flogged is always a good thing. Second, I’ve noticed that such impressive improvements in a persons portrait always brings about smiles and a sense of well being in the client. Everyone wants to look and feel 10 years younger, so when I can provide a little help in that department I’m always glad to do so.
Like I said, these are the “after” photos, subsequent to the editing process. I was very pleased with the outcome and I hope that my clients were too.
In Round Rock, just east of IH-35 on Hairy Man Road there’s a beautiful little estate called Casa Blanca on Brushy Creek. Casa Blanca is a large plantation-style home situated on Brushy Creek within the Round Rock countryside. It can accommodate large groups or small groups for just about any event. It features a large ballroom with floor to ceiling windows overlooking a green pasture and a river, private rooms for bride and groom, a large pavilion for ceremonies/parties, acres of lush, green space for outdoor ceremonies/events, plenty of parking and more.
When I first photographed an event at Casa Blanca I fell in love with the place and had difficulty finding fault with it. My first impression was visiting Casa Blanca and meeting the owners, George and LeAnne, who were very kind and welcoming. They take great pride in the facility and enjoy being a part of every event held there.
Casa Blanca offers lots more than just beauty and majesty. They also offer many conveniences, such as in-house florist, DJ and more. Pricing is reasonable and you’re sure to enjoy all the conveniences offered in the city, available in the countryside.
These are photos from the last wedding I photographed at Casa Blanca: Monica & Eric’s Wedding. It was a joy to be a part of their big day and it was easily one of the more memorable weddings that I’ve photographed.
This week I started writing a blog about a fun location for engagement portraits in Austin but I got distracted while reading some Aldous Huxley. During my read Huxley made lots of references to paintings and art, areas that I’m not very educated in, and which precipitated some research on my part. During my search it occurred to me that it would be fun to bring some attention to paintings this week in my blog. I did some searching online and found what I think are some fun and interesting works of art, painted on canvas, related to brides.
I often wonder how people did things differently in the past. Even 50 years ago customs and habits and styles were very different than today. Yet we derive much of what we do today from our ancestral past. Chances are something we think of as new (even a thought) was probably considered and conceived before we were born. Our styles and customs are constantly evolving, and some might say devolving (consider the recent obsession with 1980s culture).
Without further ado, here are canvas paintings of brides from the past…
I wanted to take a moment to share 7 new, great reviews we received in the past few months with everyone who reads my blog. Recently I asked my clients to tell others on Yelp.com about their experience with myself and Austin Americana Photography. And I’m happy to say that many of our happy clients responded in larger than expected numbers. All of our clients had nothing but fantastic things to say about Austin Americana (we’re now rated 5 Stars!), which makes me feel like I’m doing the difficult job of being a wedding photographer well.
Unfortunately, Yelp.com (or it’s filtering software monster) doesn’t like too many good reviews at one time. Even though all 7 of our Yelp reviews were legitimate past clients of Austin Americana and were not paid or compensated for their reviews, Yelp.com will not allow 6 of the 7 reviews to be posted to the Austin Americana Yelp Page (the reviews were essentially relegated to Yelp’s “filtered” area where almost no one views them, and thus not available for easy viewing by future clients).
I’ve officially complained to Yelp about the problem, but I’m not holding my breath since the Yelp FAQ website states that all filtering is automated and not under the control of one individual (hard to believe, I know!) In the meantime, I’ve taken the liberty of posting these wonderful reviews that I’m so very proud of here on my blog for all past, present and future clients to see.
Again, I’d like to send out a big “Thank You” to all our happy clients who took time out of their busy schedules to tell others about their positive experience working with Austin Americana Photography. Thank you! All of the reviews are below…
You Can View Our YELP.COM Business Page Here: http://www.yelp.com/biz/austin-americana-photography-austin
Filtered and Unfiltered Recent Yelp Reviews For Austin Americana Photography:
1. 9/17/2010 5 Stars *****
The website photos are great! I can’t wait to see the photos from our wedding. Martin was very pleasant to work with and I recommend that you contact him if you are looking for a photographer for your special event!
– Anna K. – Austin, Texas
2. 9/16/2010 5 Stars *****
we are so pleased with our photos. Martin is extremely professional and warm in his demeanor. he arrived early to set up on a saturday morning to take photos of our doctors for our website. we recommend him highly and have already called on him again for another photo session.
– Sylvian U. – Austin, Texas
3. 9/9/2010 5 Stars *****
We would like to thank you for doing such an amazing job in making our Wedding day so special. We also thank you for showing such patience in a very long wedding. We knew that you had not done Indian Weddings before, but we felt relaxed after we had a sitdown with you few days before the wedding. We were confident that we were in safe hands.
Every moment big and small was perfectly captured.
We highly recommend Austin Americana Photography. The wedding pictures posted on http://austinamericanastudio.com truly speak about your work. What more do I have to say.
We are blessed too to have you as our photographer. Thank you for providing your services!!
– Pallavi and Praveen – Osseo, Minnesota
4. 9/2/2010 5 Stars *****
When I started planning my wedding, the only thing that I wanted to make sure was amazing and flawless were my wedding photos. Martin’s photos were just that. Martin went above and beyond my expectations. Every time I look at my photos, I’m sucked right back into that day, because his photos captured the mood and tell the story of my wedding moment by moment. Martin was very professional, showed up on time, and my photos were available to view before the promised date. You can’t go wrong with using Martin to take photos for any occasion.
– Monica O. – Austin, Texas
5. 9/1/2010 5 Stars *****
I met Martin and Michaela when they were traveling through our home town in Monteverde, Costa Rica. Martin used his incredible eye and talent to capture our community coffee house, The Common Cup. His photography has made a difference in our online presence, and I recommend his service if you need to capture the true essence of your business and project it in your marketing. Thanks Martin for what you do, and thanks for helping us here in Costa Rica!
– Kenneth L. – Monroe, Georgia
6. 8/31/2010 5 Stars *****
Martin did both our engagement photos and our wedding. Outstanding! His eye to catch the unscripted moments is priceless. We had to reschedule a couple of times for engagement photos due to weather, and Martin was most accommodating. His prices are reasonable and the extraordinary value received exceeds expectations. Martin goes above and beyond. We will be recommending him to our friends and family.
– Renee H. – Austin, Texas
7. 8/31/2010 5 Stars *****
I hired Martin twice to take photos of my extended family and then again of my immediate family. Both sessions were a success! His pictures were great each time. He is excellent at the formal type pictures as well as the spontaneous ones. He can do large groups and individual pictures without blinking an eye. Additionally, Martin is flexible in his dates and times and accommodated my schedule. He was always on time and I received my discs earlier than expected. His prices are very reasonable and he delivers quality work! I highly recommend him! Nina
– Nina J. – Round Rock, Texas