Friday, April 30, 2010

Getting Dynamic!

Yet another workshop in the bag.

For the first time since we started hosting training/workshops at our studio, we set-up this one in our actual studio space. I think it went of very well.

As for Dan’s workshop….AWESOME!

Each day started in the studio and we hit it until lunch. Having that much pizza in two days just can’t be good for you though I wish it was. Lets see…pizza for lunch, left over pizza’s for supper…oh, and don’t forget those late night pizza snacks! We did that two days in a row! I am not kidding.

As both Gail and I have loved the work we have seen from Dan, we took turns as much as possible sitting in and trying to soak some of this up. As of right now…our minds are screaming with new ideas on how to light events and portraits.

So both afternoons we got to let Dan loose on our Studio grounds. Our first two models were are our future Bride and Groom, Pam and John. Having never met them before in the back of my head I had to wonder if this was a good idea or not. This could go really well …or… you know. When they showed up I thought to myself “know one is going to believe this”. Pam, a beautiful Bride to be and John, her handsome Groom.

They were sooooo patient the whole time. They looked like stars as the Papa Razzi was chasing them around with spot lights and strobe packs in tow.

A BIG thanks to both of them for being so nice and patient to all of us.

Next up was Dan's assistant Jim. An expert with the battery packs and lights, Jim was also one of Dan's photography subjects. You can't beat versatility like that.

We all again took turns working the lights and also combined light sources like halogens and LEDs.

The second day right after lunch we had Braeden’s one year cake smashing. What a cute boy! We did some existing light work with him.

Then came our “back-up model” (I have to laugh) Katie. We had to "rough it" as you can see!

Daughter of one of our Sunday session students, she put the sauce in saucy.

A HUGE Thanks to Billy and the boys over at Performance Custom Cycle! Our neighbors at the Mill, the let us drop in and take over their shop for a little photo session amongst the bikes.

If that wasn't enough, they rolled out this award winning bike for us to drape our model on.


Here is a little video I through together from day 2. (My apologies to the Day 1 attendees. I forgot the camera otherwise I would have done for Sunday as well.)

At the end of it all, we had a great time and many of our students went home with some sweet raffle gifts.
A big thanks to Hunts Photo, Lenspro To Go, Lustre Color, and of Course Dan Doke for providing the raffle gifts.

Ryan drove all the way up from Connecticut for the workshop, so we were happy to have him win one of Dan's DVD's.

Jasmine was one of our "ASA Scholarship" students from Northeaster University that took advantage of one of the complimentary seats.

This proved to us once again how much we love hands on workshops, let alone running them.

Among all the cool things that Dan showed and told us, one thing that I will always remember and take away from this class is what Dan kept saying throughout both sessions, and that is that you have to give the the Bride and Groom something they can not get from there Aunt or Uncle that attended the wedding with their camera.

I heard and understood it at the time, but I guess I really didn’t let it sink in. Sounds silly, but it really didn't hit me until a day or so after.

How embarrassing would it be as a “Professional” photographer to be shown up by a guest?

For Gail and I, that really solidified the need to ALWAYS be pushing the envelope in all the ways possible in any situation. I think that is what makes Dan, Dan. He finds the usual and makes it unusual.

Isn’t that what being a “Professional” is all about really? Or should I say “Passionate Professional”?

Thank you Dan!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

ASA is NOT in the House!

So after many long years of a little bit of construction here.. a little bit there… our new office is now complete! OK, so a few more details to tackle, but it is open for business. Finally some physical separation for our family and our business.

What made it even more special is that Gail was away at NEIPP (The New England Institute of Professional Photography) for a week so I surprised her!

Knowing that she would be away, I went crazy and completed all the finish work in about 5 days so I could surprise her when she got back.

Oh man,I busted my hump all week and by Friday I was a complete wreck, both mentally and physically. I missed Gail something fierce and so did Matthew and Steven.

So while Gail was away working and learning along side some of the best photographers in the industry, I was eating saw dust all week. Yea…..I was jealous. OK…so I was VERY JEALOUS. She also got the honor of modeling for Jenn Husdon and Arthur Rainville. They took some BEAUTIFUL shots of Gail in a dress that Jenn literally built around Gail. I plan to get some prints of the shoot for next to my new desk = ).

As much as it killed me to not go with her, I knew she would benefit from this in so many ways. I also knew what it would mean to her to not have to come back to that awful office set-up. It was so inefficient for oh so many reasons.

To help hold down the fort while she was away (essentially make sure the kids get to school and that they don’t starve on my hands) we flew Nana out for the week. By Thursday night she was helping me stay on a busy construction schedule by staining trim along side me at 1:30 AM. THANKS MOM!

As many of you know we do most of the photography at our Studio, but all the editing, album design, client contacting … was all done at our home office (or shall I say Living room).

Up until the beginning of 2009 our poor Living room served as the entertainment room, the playroom, home bill processing room and ASA’s double office equipped with 2 workstations, a regular printer and a large format printer. YIKES!

A typical night at ASA(above), Gail used to always have to squeeze by me and the Epson 4800 printer to get awya from her desk. Oh man...many a fight started that way!

We finished off the boy's playroom right after X-mas ’08 and that decreased quite a toy burden from the living room almost immediatley, but we knew finishing of the office was going to have an even more profound affect on our situation. It just took a lot of custom work to get it done. As you can see there is barely a square angle in the whole place.

So why do we take on these projects you ask? I don't know!

This is a great arguement for just sucking it up and paying somone else to do it!

Here are some pics from the past few years along the way during the build of both the playroom and the office...

10K from 8K...MS Walk 2010!

Team Colby had a record breaking year!

For every mile we walked, the team pulled in about $2000! For a GRAND total of about $10,350 as a team.

Our team received an honorable mention as well as earning an "Elite Team" status. No doubt we were all walking tall.

Just before the beginning of the walk Staci was given the mic and asked to give a speech to all the other walkers. There is no question that the walk is meant to be a fun experience for all to come together, but this was the time we all stopped to realize the scary side of this situation. It was the time when I personally stopped and think about how this disease looms over the people that I am walking for and how it profoundly affects their lives and the lives of the loved ones around them. So after that touch of reality, a couple of tears and big group hug, we all rallied our love and strength around our team captain and nailed this walk down with ease.

Gail and I (and the whole team) were honored to wear the official Team Colby shirts.

The team grew significantly since last you can see...

We were blessed once again with great weather that although a bit chilly standing still, it was well suited for walking.

A great time for a good cause.

Lastly, we woudl like to extend a big THANKS to everyone that donated to the walk for Gail and I as well as on the behalf of Team Colby.