Lunar Eclipse

So Alaska is always a TRIP when I come home for Christmas. There are many familiar people and places – it definitely feels like home – but Alaska sometimes seems like a dream it’s so beautiful. I don’t understand how any of the Californians I now reside with have Christmas at 80 degrees and green. Today it was an awesome 5 degrees and theres nothing like a little climate change (especially coming from Cambodia and Thailand) to make your body entirely confused!

I woke up the other morning and my friend texted me saying there was a lunar eclipse happening soon. I asked her when and she responded “NOW!” =P So I grabbed my 70-200mm 2.8L IS and got some shots while I could. I miss you all in California, so here’s an Alaskan hello! (Yes, I do live here about a month and a half out of the year!!)

The mountain above is called Mount Susitna (Sleeping Lady) and it can be seen from almost anywhere in the city. It’s VERY Anchorage-ian and is a trademark of being home =)

That’s our downtown =) I’ve never been that impressed with it (Sorry Alaska!)… but this year I did a number of fashion and engagement shoots downtown and I’m now in love.

The picture above looks like something out of Lord of the Rings but I had to include it =) its Mount Denali, which is the tallest mountain in North America and a 6 hour drive away! You can still see a “hush” of a moon in the left. Pretty sick!

Bobby Earle - Why haven’t I come to Alaska with you yet?!

Josh Newton - Dude, I have no idea why you haven’t!! I mean its only one of the most beautiful places in the world, and you’d get to see TONS of epic animals up here! One day Bobby, one day =)

Brigdette - You are amazing. You have the talent I long to have. Looking at all your photos inspire me. Doesnt seem to also help, that you are a fellow Alaskan. I am from Chugiak/Eagle River. I found your blog via Delightfully Tacky….just today I found hers too. Gotta love product Friday’s. I am living it up in Europe right now…so I look forward to getting glimpses of our spectacular home state.

P.S..for all those people that have never been there, you should get some fireweed feilds pics up. Those are always pretty.

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Raddest Photo Trip Ever

Well, its true. I have a new blog. I don’t have ANYthing setup, but I couldn’t be more excited about it! My new years resolution is to try and blog 3 times a week… and if I’m going to do that, it has to look good, right!! Thanks to Katie Lewis for the blog recommendation and Bobby Earle for the inspiration/hounding.

On to what this blog is really about – Cambodia and Thailand!! I just got back a couple days ago from the sweetest trip EVER, so what better way to start the year out than an epic teaser post! I had an amazing time, I can’t wait to hang out with all the RPTE people again in China =)

Nick Simcheck - I have decided that I might hate you for getting the shot of the monks that I so desperately wanted.

Sick photos dude!

Josh Newton - dude… another reason to get a tilt shift!! I was really close to that sign and it really did look like I was taking pictures of just that… sneaky me. Thanks for the comment, you’re the first EVER on my new bloggy blog!!

dylan mayer - rad-i-cool……
nice work mr newton

Tim Newton - Nice!!! I’m subscribed. I want to be first. Erase Nick’s comment. ๐Ÿ™‚

Richelle - Yay, you’re blogging!! Not a bad blog post to start with! Love them all but especially the monk one and the little girl in the village. She got a ton of suckers out of me! Love the look of your blog… hope you can keep it up!!

Josh Newton - I know, right?! =P I have needed to blog for a long time now… just haven’t gotten the energy for it. Plus I couldn’t stand the way my old one looked, I never wanted to send people there! I’m stoked for it though, now I’ll be just as cool as the rest of you all ๐Ÿ˜‰

Jen Johnson - Gosh, that last image could be a painting. Gorgeous!

lori yohe - every image in this post is INCREDIBLE. now next time i see you i’m going to be asking you what you shoot with. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Is Twitter at all useful?

So, my good friend Bobby Earle (and AMAZING photographer that I love and adore who is married to someone much more lovable and adorable ;)) recently blogged about twitter, and I found his blog rather interesting. His main thoughts pointing out the benefits of Twitter were thus:

A couple weeks ago, Tim Nosenzo helped me out big timeby responding to something I posted on twitter. I had been looking for a very hard to find lens for about 6 weeks. Because of my twitter updates on the matter, Tim kept his eye open for the lens and emailed me when he found one. Long story short, I got the lens!!

Another time, I was headed out to Australia. I asked if anyone knew of a place within five hours of Sydney where I could find wild Kangaroos. I got a ton of awesome recommendations, but my friend, Steph (from New Zealand), responded and told me about Morriset hospital with thousandsof wild kangaroos! It was a dream come true for me (spent every day in Oz at that hospital – one of the best experiences of my life!)

My friend and fellow photographer, Luke, lives out in Australia (if you’ve never heard of it, it’s a small island off the coast of New Zealand – that’s for my Kiwi friends ๐Ÿ˜› ). It’d bereally expensive for me to text him all the way out in Oz. We catch up all the time on there – and then mutual pals likeAmanda in Canada or Bob in England can freely join in on our chats to each other – almost like free group texting! It’s so valuable for this feature alone.

His philosopher friend Garrett Miller (also a bud of mine) wrote a blog in response and here’s what he said:

Bobby’s benefits are genuine fruits of Twitter and worth acknowledging as such, but

Bobby’s benefits ought to be recognized as valuable largely because of their usefulness to Bobby and

that Bobby’s benefits depend strongly on his popularity.

What do you think? It’d be beneficial to read both blogs, they’re full of really good info!

And what is a blog without a photo =) my friends Christie and Brittany decided to come through Santa Barbara on their way up to Seattle, so we had a little photoshoot!

Beverly Lynn - I just started on twitter, mainly because of a good friend. I find it amusing but not entirely that useful. What is your take on it?

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Photoshoot with Amie

This shoot was a lot of fun for many reasons, but the main one was that we didn’t have an agenda or anything we “had” to do – we just wanted to shoot for the fun of it and let creativity take its course. What also made it fun was that over the course of the 12 hour day, there were lots of funny/silly moments where we could do nothing but laugh – for a while. It made me think of this quote…

“Portraits often speak more about the photographer than the subject. Think of the person you’re photographing as a canvas onto whom you project yourself. A great portrait tells the world about yourself as much – if not more – than the person you’re actually photographing.”

I think it perfectly describes why I like doing photography – its an outlet for my creative, fun, artistic side of my brain… but there is a lot of technical thought that’s required to make a good photograph, and thats the chemistry major side of me. Also, its an absolute blast and I thoroughly enjoy all the people I get to meet and work with, and thats my love of people coming out.

I think my favorite one from this series is one above. For me it represents completely letting go of everything and just enjoying the moment for what it is. I think if I were to have a goal in photography, it’d be that =)

And when I get to work with people that are as passionate for what they do as I am about photography, way cool things are possible =) So, thanks Tess, Katrina, and Amie. I love my friends and the awesome people in my life! Can’t wait for the next one!

check out all the full res pictures here!

Beverly Lynn - I absolutely love the black and white shot of her leaning against a tree truck!

Trista - love these fashion pics. nice work!

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Interview with Israel Johnson

The other day I was interviewed by Israel Johnson and I thought it’d be kind of fun to share it with everyone!

Tell me about yourself and your business

I started my business in 2006 with zero photography training or background. My dad made our sauna into a dark room growing up and he has always loved photography, so thats probably where i got my exposure to it (no pun intended ;)). He made huge prints and put them up in our house, gave them to family as gifts, and always had a good eye. I have always loved good photography and it always inspired and captivated me, but only when I saw the business aspect of it did I become interested. I absolutely love people and when I saw I could combine my passion and energy with something that I loved doing and could support me, I instantly jumped on that train.

How did you get started?

I got started by meeting a select few who were really inspiring to me and told me I had a real talent and gift, so I went for it!

What was your greatest challenge in starting your business?

The hardest part has been doing the whole “business” aspect of things. Paperwork, money, taxes, bills, what to spend on fun, what to buy for equipment, etc.

What are you excited about at this current moment?

More and more, I’ve found that people are a lot more excited to have me photograph them and thats been a lot of fun. They find real value in my work and are stoked with what I can give them.

What have you found most effective for finding new clients? What marketing/promotional strategies work best for you?

I am all word of mouth and word of mouse. I do some marketing but its all pretty simple. I like it when my work speaks for it self and when people can be around me, see how I shoot and interact with them, and then be able to recommend me. Thats the best way to get clients that I get along with and that get along with me – they know what to expect and they know what they’re getting when they hire me. I use facebook, my website, and my blog (not really my blog… but I try!) to connect me with my clients, as they love being able to share their images with everyone.

How is changing technology affecting your business?

Changing technology just improves my ability/ease in editing photos, getting my work to my clients, and getting exposure. It hasn’t hindered my ability to improve in a business sense, it usually just adds to my business and gives me a little bit more of an edge.

What do you/your company look for when considering hiring someone as staff? As an independent contractor (IC)?

I don’t hire “staff” because that involves a completely new business license, getting insurance for my employees, paying taxes for them and making sure they’re reported… but I do have plenty of independent contractors. I definitely recommend hiring people that are better at doing parts of your business that take the photographer a lot of time. Editing, making albums, booking travel, working out expenses and contracts – all that is better for someone else to do. Its obviously harder to do that if you don’t have a lot of income to spend on independent contractors, but its good to focus on what you do best – shooting and providing a rockin’ experience for your clients.

Do you recommend using agents or representatives?

I am going to be bringing on a full time manager, but a lot of details still remain to be worked out. I think its a brilliant idea and more photographers should pursue it – I love outsourcing and I think its essential in succeeding in the business world.

What advice do you have for a student desiring to enter the business world?

Photograph tons. Get your work out. Do some stuff for free (or for a meal or something!), provide a good service and make your clients feel relaxed and that the photography experience was a lot of fun. Do photography because you absolutely love it and you couldn’t do anything else. Do photography because its your passion, not because it could make you money or give you status. Be creative and do crazy stuff – don’t ever let yourself get stuck in a routine. BE YOURSELF! =)

Beverly Lynn - So what did you do before you were a photographer? Since 2006, that hasn't been very long. How long did you shoot for free or for food until you started charging? Did you jump in with both feet, i.e. quit everything else and started a photography business? The market seems pretty saturated with photographers now, how do you set yourself a part from the rest?

Josh Newton - Hey Beverly! Before I was a photographer, I was just a student =) I got my degree in Biochemistry and my work experience consisted of construction, roofing, landscaping, sound technician, soccer coach, rock climbing instructor, substitute teaching, and other random jobs! So basically nothing to do with art or photograph =P

I shot for free only a couple times in the beginning – I started charging for my services almost right away. I still sometimes give discounts and I did shoot some things for free the first year – I feel like thats always important to do, but just not forever.

I started my business while I was in school, so my whole senior year consisted of marketing myself as a photographer. I worked for the yearbook and the newspaper, I shot engagements and senior portraits, I was doing photography in all my spare time really =P (sometimes during class as well!!) So when I graduated college, I immediately jumped into photography and continued shooting and getting more jobs. And that hasn't stopped =P

I set myself apart from the rest by just being me =) Thats the only real unique thing I can offer! Plenty of people have the same (or better) camera and equipment, edit the same way I do and use all the same programs, and use facebook/blogs/twitter/webpage to get their stuff out there. My advice would be to figure out how to get an online presence and show people who you are!

Shannon McGuire - I didn’t know you hire people to do your editing. That seems like a pretty good idea, as that is the hardest part for me to sit down and really work on. Especially when it’s a huge amount of photos and I have other projects and commitments to work on…

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