I Am The “Image Hostage” and “The Hustler”

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I probably tweeted about this a while ago, but now I am finally getting around to posting a link to one of the interviews I did with Elaina Ransford last summer about some of my nightmare business experiences as a photographer. One of the worst, which was a three day shoot in NYC, was mentioned in The Freelancer by Contenly. Contently makes software to empower publishers, creatives and readers.

Speaking of Contently. Check this out, especially if you’re a freelancer. It’s a quiz for the freelance. Well, it’s actually geared towards a writer, but it may help you figure out which kind of freelancer you are if you don’t already know.
I’m “The Hustler.”

Here’s another article I was quoted in a while back from the New York Times about wedding photography.

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Sandy & Don – Wedding Photography – Peddler’s Village Lahaska, Pennsylvania

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of photographing Sandy & Don’s wedding at Peddler’s Village in Lahaska, Pennsylvania. Click the link to see the beautiful images we captured that day.

Das Family Portrait Photo Session Newtown, Pennsylvania Photographer

Can you tell if this was lit by natural or artificial light?

Allot of times photography is about finding the light. Sure a good subject helps, but the right light can make an image pop. That was the case when I photographed the Das family in Tyler State Park in newtown, Pennsylvana recently. For the first 10-15 minutes of the shoot I walked around with the couple placing them in various nooks and crannies of the park until I found the perfect spot. My goal was to make the couple look as though I had lit them with studio strobes. I believe that’s what I achieved in the image below.

Full gallery @ http://cainimages.photoshelter.com/gallery/Das/G0000.9.LAJ7sVEs

Frascella Portrait Photo Shoot Newtown, Pennsylvania Photographer

Originally married 5 years ago, the Frascella family had been photographed at the formal gardens on the campus of Bucks County Community College. The photographer they hired had a problem with a disc, so the couple had no images from their portrait session as well as other gaping holes in their wedding photographey coverage from the day.

On Thursday in between thunderstorms, I was able to squeeze in a photo shoot with them at the college. I had them walk through the gardens and act like I wasn’t there and just enjoy each other’s company, eventually while dodging rain drops. There are some really nice moments that show their personalities as well as love for each other.
This may fill some of the gaps, but the original photographer should have attempted to try to help them out a bit more then saying, “sorry, we had a problem.”

See the gallery @ http://cainimages.photoshelter.com/gallery/Frascella/G0000RncSVE69iPE/

Ashley & Michael’s Wedding Photography Gilbertsville, Pennsylvania

A few years ago I photographed Rebecca & William’s wedding at the Centre Bridge Inn in Solebury, Pennsylvania. I had a great time photographing their wedding and was thrilled when Bill asked me if I would photograph his daughter Ashley and her fiance Michael’s wedding in Gilbertsville, Pennsylvania.
It was a gorgeous day for a wedding in the Pennsylvania countryside. The ceremony was held at New Hanover United Methodist Church in Gilbertsville, Pa. and officiated by Pastor Dave Lewis.

The reception was held at Griffith Hall in Lionville, Pa.Check out the full gallery @ http://cainimages.photoshelter.com/gallery/Ashley-Robert-Gilbertsville-Pa/G0000fJZzN3Dn75E/.

Wedding photography site @ http://www.loveweddingphotos.com.

Marie-Helen & Stephane Wedding Photography Newtown, Pennsylvania

I spent the afternoon last Friday photographing Marie-Helen & Stephane’s wedding in historic Newtown, Pennsylvania. The ceremony was performed by Mayor Dennis O’Brien in the borough council chambers. After the ceremony we wandered around Newtown a bit making some pictures of the couple sharing the joy of the blessed event. Both are from Montreal, Canada, so I was a bit hesitant to make pictures in front of the borough council chambers because of the American flag bunting surrounding the building. They didn’t have a problem with it though, Stephane said, because they’d been living here for 10 year and appreciated the visual. After the burough, we stopped by a little league baseball field in town with…more American Flag bunting. There the couple had a laugh and some champagne to celebrate. Then off to a weekend honeymoon in New York City, New York.

Congrats!! And all the best to the happy couple.

See the full image gallery @ Marie-Helen & Stephane Wedding Photography Newtown, Pennsylvania. Check out my wedding photography website @ http://www.loveweddingphotos.com.

You can also check out the slideshow. Click the box at the bottom right of the slideshow to view in full screen.


Patricia & Ariel Wedding Photography Shamong, New Jersey

A few weeks ago I photographed Patricia & Ariel‘s wedding at Valenzano Winery & Vineyard in Shamong, New Jersey. Thanks to Valenzano Winery as well as Lisa & Cherie from On This Day Weddings, who were a great help in making a rainy wedding day run smoothly. Here are a few samples.The full gallery is available @ http://cainimages.photoshelter.com/gallery/Patricia-Ariel-Shamong-NJ/G0000I5UQMD6ll1s/C0000RLpgccXoENQEnjoy, And check out my wedding photography site @ Love Wedding Photos.

Never Thought…

A few weeks ago, I got screwed over by a so-called friend and former student who has worked with me as an assistant.

Lesson learned here is to NEVER, EVER do something without the photography agreement signed, sealed and delivered.

It started out innocent enough. A former student had asked if I would photograph his/her wedding. I was honored and agreed. It was then suggested by one of us that he help me with a job that I had in the books to work off some of the fees for the wedding. Made sense. I’d have someone capable of helping out with a shoot and it would knock a bit of money off the wedding photography package. I never though I’d get screwed over.

There wedding was over a year away. No paperwork. I’ve committed to photograph their wedding on said date. Just an agreement between friends. Paperwork to come later.
Most packages include an engagement portrait session that is free. Out of package the session is $100 which can be applied to the actual wedding package upon booking.
I’ve never done an engagement session and not booked the wedding.

The job I needed help with comes and goes, former student does nice job that day. Their wedding is still over a year away. No paperwork. We’re good.

A few months later former student emails and asks if we can do the engagement portrait on such and such a date. I said fine, I can make the date work. That afternoon I receive an email from a bride asking about my availability on the former students wedding date. I say “no can do” booked that day. No paperwork. Just an agreement between friends. Paperwork to come later.

Engagement portait date comes. That morning, before I leave for the shoot, my wife asks if I have the paperwork complete for the former students wedding date. I said “No, although I probably should. But, it’s a former student, I don’t think I’ll get screwed over.”
She reminded me that I always say never work without some kind of formal photography agreement. I agree, but state that it’s a former student and “friend” not likely to screw me over.

That day, another bride inquires as to my availabilty on the former students wedding date. Sorry, I’ve committed to another wedding. In fact we just did their engagement portrait today.

Engagement session goes very well. In fact the bride says “thanks for a wonderful day and awesome pictures!!!!!!” Pictures were very well received. After the session, I spoke with the couple about their wedding, how they saw it, what they’re looking for photographically, as well as how much time and if they want albums. They proceed to tell me how much coverage, the amount of guests, locations, etc… All good. I’ll send them some packages built around what we’ve discussed. At this point the wedding is 13 months away. I offer discounts worth 20% plus the money off for helping with that job a few months before, but if they book more then 12 months out, I’ll add another 10% off.
OK. So now, the discounts are worth 30% plus.

Former student then asks about downloading some pictures. I state that “You have access to download from when we work together.” I’m thinking they’ll download a few pics. No big deal.

No paperwork. Just an agreement between friends.

All good. I send the package info. Discounts are worth $1,100 plus. No paperwork. Just an agreement between friends.Wait a week, don’t hear anything. When I do hear back, they want to know how much without a book. I tell them. Fine. Wait another week. Now we’re less then 12 months out that extra 10% has to be pulled from the table. Discount is now worth $900. I email stating that and ask if they want to proceed, at the same time I offer to give them an album as a gift. Again stating that the book is worth $200 keeping the actual value of the discount at $1,100. Wait again.

A day later, they respectfully decline my package a full month after we’ve shot the engagement portrait, and I’ve turned down two other brides. WTF!? Quite frankly, they went over their budget and can’t afford the package. Really!? The numbers have been the same for the past month. You realize this now. Oh and by the way, even if they could afford it, they don’t have the deposit.

So, what can you afford? They give me a number. Best I could do for that is a six hour with one photographer, not eight. They insist upon eight. No can do. Good luck. We part ways.