Saturday, March 5, 2011

Gone...Just a Week again!

Heading off to the Latin American Photographers Conference again ;) Back on the 15th. Mucho Bueno!!!

Excited to work on some of this years concept work and gear up for another Rockin' Year!!!

The new Jenison studio will be done soon so I'm really looking forward to that (if it drags out any longer I am gonna SNAP!!!!)

I have some fresh new stuff we're adding this year, I can't wait.

We've been booking 2012 Senior Sessions and some of the prime time summer time slots are starting to fill up so give us a call asap to schedule your session if you're a 2012 Senior! With the number of 2012 Senior sessions I've booked so far I'm thinking twice about even doing a brochure.

We're at 94-96% referral/repeat client base every year which I think is a great thing!! We let our images and our past clients do the talking for us, no marketing hype here. That's part of the reason for our new additional tag line "We stand behind our work, Not in front of it!" in reference to all the flashy photographer websites out there these days. Music and images that zip around the screen fading in and out for just a few seconds looks cool but when their customers get their pictures and there's no music or glam they're just left with mediocre images at best and feel let down.

This year I was amazed at the number of last minute sessions we booked in the late Fall from people who tried a "friend who takes pictures" or a new photographer they thought was "professional" but 4 months after their session when they finally got their proofs they were disappointed to say the least.

That's why my goal is (and has always been) to give you so many great images to choose from that you have a hard time just trying to narrow your favorites down to 100. Of course this sounds great until you're the one pulling your hair out trying to narrow down your favorites to 25, 50, 75 or 100! I've heard so many horror stories from new customers who went somewhere else with one of their older children and said "there literally wasn't even one image that was worth ordering from" and "the pictures they took didn't look anything like my daughter".

My job is to capture your senior's true personality without a bunch of crazy props or post production filters/actions in photoshop (used by other photographers to salvage & mask a just plain bad image). We capture great images that don't need to be mega-photoshopped but if you do like a little extra zing we can do that too...and it's free. With a properly lit, exposed, balanced image you can do anything in post production. With a bad image shot in program mode you have very few choices in salvaging the image, that's why we do it the right way from the start!

We shoot for a fun, relaxing, show their true personality session and we'll get so many phenomenal images you'll want all of them!!

Recognize one of our past seniors on our website? Ask any of them how they liked the whole experience! Word of mouth is key for us and that's why we will still be shootin' 30 years from now!!

Did I mention...this year is gonna ROCK!i! That's all for now.

Rocko Ono (my Spanglish sign off for today:),

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

At Last...a Break!

it was waaaay to short though!

We made a run to Chicago for the last supercarsaturdays and cmr9.3.10

I brought limited camera equipment since there's not a whole lot of space in a Lambo (I only had room for 1 camera body, 2 lenses, light meter, flash and syncro cord).

Here are a few of the 300 or so pics I took Fri & Sat (in chronological reverse).

These first car pics are STRAIGHT OUT OF THE CAMERA with NO retouching (just like my portrait photography, my theory is get it right in the camera and you can spend computer time enhancing images not trying to fix them). When I have some time I'm going to photoshop these bad boys and really make them ROCK!!! If the background looks familiar in these first few car pics it's because the location is where the chase scenes in Batman were filmed!

Nick's Viper - this image will ROCK even more with some photoshop magic!!!

Josh's 996 turbo - sweet

Chris' flat black vette - the blue color cast was a happy accident, it's from the blue Lambo lights next in line for a shot. shooting a flat black car with a dark background was a little trickier than I thought it would be.

Tim's Lamborghini Gallardo - any picture of this car is ROCKIN' When I get a chance to work this image over in photoshop I'm going to have to print a 30x40 or bigger!!! Same thing goes for the next shot.

I really liked this shot but wish I had all of my lighting gear, a single corded SB800 was great but I can only imagine how I'd rock this shot with the right gear. That's the real sky too, no photoshop magic on this one.

Heading into Chicago - just a little blur for some action.

I said I was going to ask the police officer to turn his lights back on for a fun shot, someone bet me a dollar I wouldn't, I won.

And the first ticket goes to...Josh. Not for speeding, window tint. Happy to say nobody got a speeding ticket!!!

Troy's Z06 vette - his is hands down the BEST sounding vette I have ever heard, I'd rank it right up there with Ferrari and Lamborghini any day!! So loud in fact it woke us up Sat morning driving down Michigan and we were inside on the 20th floor of the Hard Rock Hotel!!!

The line up in GR waiting to leave.

The sticker says it all!

What a riot, almost as much fun as people portraits!

And to top it all off I had to drive the Lambo back to GR from Chicago, pure torture :)

Rock On,

Friday, August 27, 2010

Lights, cameras...action!

Yesterday in fact! I love movies but what I love even more is seeing everything that goes into creating a great movie. Yesterday I got too see the real pros in action right next to our downtown studio location! 30'x40' diffusion panels, 20'x30' bounce panels, a truckfull of gobos and light modifiers (literally, it was a big stake truck packed full), HUGE light stands, million dollar cameras, generators, a crew of about 50 was AWESOME!

The movie they were shooting was "30 Minutes or Less" and in between my sessions I got to kick back and watch them film.

Above is a shot I took of Jesse Eisenberg & Aziz Ansari during one of the takes. I'm just kickin back snackin on some Taco Bell when I realize "hey, I got my camera equipment right here in the back seat, why not snap a few" so ta da, here's one of them.

It was so cool, the crew was gigantic...they had one guy just for metering light. That's the first time I've EVER seen anyone (besides myself of course) using a light meter at our downtown location!

I love seeing movies in the works! A few weeks ago I stumbled onto the set of the upcoming movie "Touchback". I was driving down the road with my 3 1/2 year old daughter and saw a glimpse of a film crew and cameras, I thought maybe it was a tv commercial. Since I love anything video I figured we'd check it out plus I figured it would be fun for my daughter to experience. After taking a side street to come back around I saw about 40 people and some massive lighting...that's when I knew it was actually a movie being filmed. Very Cool!!!

Other News:

We now have the concrete parking lot and driveway completed at the Jenison studio! Now it's time to get cranking on the inside. We originally hoped for a fall 09 opening (which came and went) but I'm really thinking it will be complete late this Fall (if not I'm going to snap!).

We've been slammed with sessions and orders all summer (part of the reason I haven't posted anything since May:). August booked up solid a few weeks ago, September is a little over 60% booked but there are still openings so call us soon! October has a pretty decent amount of openings as well.

We've shot a ton of PHENOMENAL sessions this summer!!!! I can't wait to post some samples!

REMEMBER we shoot from 8AM til 12PM M-F so even though school is starting soon we can still get you in for a session! If we are booked during the week and can't get you in I'm thinking about picking a Saturday in Sept for senior sessions.

Rock On,

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

What's New...

Still getting slammed with orders for 2010 seniors, booking 2011 seniors already, working on updating the 2011 senior website, marketing materials, construction on the new Jenison studio, updating the Grand Rapids studio, family life...this list just keeps getting bigger! What ever happened to my slow time in the spring?

I did get a nice little break this past Saturday...SuperCarSaturdays!!! My friend asked my if I wanted to drive with him to Chicago to go to a car show...let's see, 3 hour drive there, 3 hours back in a Lamborghini...uuuh, YES I'm in!!! Not to mention all of the cars I saw once we arrived! Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, Mercedes, Roll Royce, Tesla, Audi...I lost 5lbs in water weight that day just from drooling.

I'm such a ding dong, I've got thousands of dollars in pro cameras and lenses, do I bring them with me? No, I didn't even think to bring my little Fuji Z5 point and shoot! So I had to resort to the whopping 2 megapixel camera in my cell phone (plus I was there as a supercar fan not a photographer). It's so bizarre to take pictures with no light meter, shooting in auto and no custom color balancing. Next time I'll bring the good stuff and get some really killer stuff.

Here are a couple pics I snapped with my cell camera:


Quick Note: It's not to late to get your custom designed open house announcements!! Call or email us for pricing and samples!

also, If you're a 2011 senior looking for senior portraits the sooner you book the better the deals! We should have our gallery of 2010 seniors up in the next week or so as well as some new stuff for 2011.

Rock On,

Friday, March 5, 2010

Gone...just a week.

Heading off to the Latin American Photographers Conference. Back on the 15th. Mucho Bueno!!!

2010 Senior season is coming to a close (still waiting on around 16 orders...I really like a closure before the new 2011 season kicks off, but hey, at least it keeps me busy during the "slow season". Seriously though, do I ever get a slow would be kind of, I'd rather be busy:)

This year is gonna ROCK!i!

We have a bunch of new stuff coming out (not gonna say what it is just yet) but it's tizight. We're doin' the stuff that our seniors want and that's all about what we do, makin' our clients happy!

I'm homesick already and I haven't even left yet, although I'm looking forward to generating some fresh ideas for things to come (and I'm going to try and pick 300 or so favorite images from the 28,656 images we shot for our 2010 seniors (which I'm bringing along on my laptop), now I know why I keep hearing "we really had a hard time picking just 75 proofs from our session", that's always been my personal goal with every every senior way more than they bargained for!).

This year is gonna ROCK!i!

Oh, before I sign off...we're getting all the details hammered out on our "get all of your images on disk" deal. That's right, ALL the images! If we shot 300 images during your session and you only ordered 6 for your print order, now's your chance to get the other 294 images (plus the 6 edited ones) to use for whatever your heart desires!!!! I got the idea as I was archiving older session and was thinking "this stinks, I seriously have about 80 images from this session that ROCK (as in I'd use any one of these for the website or brochure or for a 40"x60"studio sample enlargement), they ordered 5 poses...all the rest of these images are going to go into archive and probably never be seen again!" I'd rather offer them at a mega deal and have them be used for something, rather than have them sit unseen on a hard drive forever.

I've said it in the past and I'll say it again "I'll put any of my un-edited proofs up against our competitor's edited prints any day of the week!". I hear it all the time "the proofs are awesome, I don't know what could be done to make them better" and "these untouched proofs look better than my friend's final pictures". We don't try and take a few good pictures, we create great images, period! Our sessions aren't "tests" or "experiments", we know our clients don't have the time to "try and get a few usable pictures" from a hobby photo enthusiast. We just do it right the first time!

Did I mention...this year is gonna ROCK!i! That's all for now.

Rocko Ono (my Spanglish sign off for today:),

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Oooooh SNAP!!!

...just the build up!

But seriously though, this senior season has been ROCKIN!!!!

Farthest school...Cadillac.

Here's just one pic from one of this summers ROCKIN' sessions. We have thousands more but you'll have to wait to see them all!

This session was just a few days ago but we have it in our studio at 26"x 40" so you can check it out BIG! (really, the print is HUGE!) Anyone can make an image look good on the web, but when it comes to BIG prints where quality counts we Rock it Out!

We capture the real you!

"something different, something fresh, something new."

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cute, Cute, Cute...

4 year and a newborn session...this is a quick preview of 1 of just shy of 200 rockin' pics! it!

More to come soon, just need the time to update the kids site. Any chance of a 10 day work week:)?

Check back soon for some of our 2010 senior images! I hope to post some fresh '10 stuff in the next few weeks!

Rock On,