Here is the final design for Marianna and Bradley's wedding album. They ordered a 10x10 Voluptuos Black leather album from KISS Wedding Books.
When was the last time you received awesome customer service?
I use several products from Fundy SOS.
They sell a bunch of really amazing and useful add-ons for Photoshop to help streamline a photographers workflow.
I use and love their Album Builder design software. It's really changed the way I design albums. Making it a much quicker and more flexible process. In the past, I used design templates. I'd have to force my vision in to some one else's page design. Fundy Album Builder allows me to design the page to my vision.
Not only is this a kick-butt piece of software, their customer service is just plain awesome!
I admit to being something of a night owl. I'll be working at all hours on designs that need to get done. As we've all experienced, occasionally your computer can have a mind of it's own. I've emailed or filled out support tickets for Fundy SOS products expecting them to reply some time the next day. It's not unusual for them to reply almost immeadiately with the answer I need to keep going!!
Their products are great. They're truly nice people. And their customer service is just plain awesome!
I'd been to the Waterfront Marriott earlier this summer, with my Sister-in-law Nola. Nola works for Toursavers, a great coupon book, that has all kinds of great deals on fun activities around town. She gets to try all of the activities out, and blog about them. One of the coupons in Toursavers Seattle is for Eagle Rider Harley Davidson rentals. Since I'm the only one in the family with a motorcycle endorsement, and I own a Harley, Nola had me take her on a motorcycle tour up to Whidbey Island.
But that really has nothing to do with todays topic: WPPI Road Trip 2010.
For those of you that don't know, WPPI is Wedding and Portrait Photographers International. They are one of the largest photographer trade groups in the world; best known for their tradeshow and convention held in Las Vegas each year. They brought 4 well known photographers to speak in Seattle for the day: Dawn Shields, Nate Miller, Kirk Voclain and Jasmine Star.
What a great day! I can honestly say that I learned something from each speaker. Something useful, not meaningless trivia.
Dawn Shields sounds like she dominates her market in Missouri. Not only is she the top photographer in her market, but she owns two bridal publications and a bridal show. Her husband owns a couple more businesses. Busy people! Being a magazine publisher, Dawn believes in the value of traditional marketing, i.e., magazine ads. Hey, I've got a magazine ad. It's with Seattle Metropolitan Bride & Groom. I've had ok response to my ad. A few inquiries, but nothing that would make you go whoa! Dawn mentioned that the best ad response is for right hand read ads.
Hmmmm.....mines a left hand and has been since it started. Coincidentally I ran in to my Seattle Metropolitan Bride & Groom ad rep, Dixie Duncan, at a meeting this morning and she asked if I was going to renew my ad. I mentioned I would if it became a right hand read ad. Bingo! She said she'd write that in to my next ad contract. Nice to be able to use what you learn so quickly. Time will tell if it works.
Kirk Voclain shoots senior portraits in Houma, Louisiana. This man is wild. Talks a mile a minute. Speaks with his hands. Crawls on the floor. Loves Steve Martin movies and has the orangest hair you've ever seen. Creative. Entertaining. A real inspiration. And Loves what he does.
The final speaker was Jasmine Star. Daughter of a preacher and her talk was a bit like being at a revival meeting. Her talk was packed with information on branding. She's got it down. Five years ago she shot 3 weddings, the next year 30. She now shoots 23-25 weddings a year and averages $11000 a wedding. Not bad considering her first wedding she charge $1000.
By the way, here's a copy of my latest ad in Seattle Metropolitan Bride & Groom. This is the flower girl from Sanya and Matt's wedding. How cute is she!?
If any of you have a website or manage one for work, you know that there are tons of statistics that can be tracked. Some are useful, some are just plain fascinating for no other reason than to make you wonder.
This post is about information that makes you wonder.
In the past year, there have been 16.731 visits to my website, up 365%!
Boring I know, but here's the interesting part, at least to me. The 16,731 visits to my website came from 43 different countries!
Yes, the vast majority of the visits were from the good ol' U. S. of A., most notably Washington State and particularly Western Washington and the Seattle area. And I get my fair share of visits from our neighbors to the north in Canada, eh! But heck, I'm even getting traffic from some pretty exotic and far off places. Places I'd love to travel to and some I'm not so sure about. I'll have to check the travel guides!
I'm apparently big in Indonesia. Indonesia ranks 5th on my list of countries with the most visits! My sisters family lived there in the early to mid 70's, but I'm not sure if that fact is driving traffic to my site.
India and Singapore are in my top 20, ranking 7th and 17th respectively. I've never been, but would love to go. I understand my Great Grandfather Benjamin Franklin West travelled to both countries. But that was in the late 1800's. Again, probably not a factor in driving people to look at my photography.
Not all of the international traffic is a mystery. I've had frequent visits from France, Germany, Switzerland and Austria. I lived in Austria for a couple years in the 80's and met people from those countries while I lived there. Through the magic of Facebook I've gotten back in contact with a few. Makes me really glad that Al Gore invented the Internet. Thanks Al!
I've also had visitors from Mexico and Bosnia & Herzegovina. One of my Brides families is from Bosnia & Herzegovina and one of the my Grooms is from Mexico City. No surprise that I might have visitors from those places either.
But I've also had visitors from Bolivia, Pakistan, Trinadad & Tobago, Saudi Arabia to name a few more. It just makes you wonder. How did they find me? What were they looking for? Did my photography have any type of impact on them? Do they realize I'm open to shooting international weddings? Please call back!
I have a favorite red pen. It's a Retro 51. I bought it 5 years ago at a Franklin-Covey store. Unfortunately, Franklin-Covey has stopped selling these great pens, and I have to search for sources for the refills. The last time I ran out of ink I found refills at a nice pen shop on 5th avenue in downtown Seattle. The next time I ran out, the shop was closed; a victim of our economic times.
My next step was a google search. I found the best price at amazon.com. I ordered the refills and thought nothing of it. They arrived yesterday and I was happy to be able to use my favorite pen again. As I was tossing out the packing material, I found a handwritten note from the Store manager of the amazon reseller that filled my order! What a great touch. And for a twenty dollar order. Sure makes me want to do business with them again. If you need a refill, or want to buy a nice pen go to Paradise Pen . The Store Manager's name is Julie and she really knows how to treat her customers!
I finally selected a new logo!
I used an online service, logotournament. What a great way to go! I filled out a detailed survey defining the look that I wanted and graphic artists from around the world submitted designs. The designers came from 15 countries: Canada, Mexico, Italy, France, England, Sweden, Bulgaria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Switzerland, Australia, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Singapore and the United States
Every day I gave them feedback and ranked the designs. The next day I would receive additional designs, and revised designs. All told I had over 350 designs to choose from! Narrowing it down was pretty daunting. But in the end it was pretty clear that one designer understood best what I was looking for.
The winning designer is Susy Francoeur from Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. She was great to work with. Very understanding and accomodating. Here's her winning design.
Here are some of my options for a new logo. I'm thrilled with all of the designs so far. I've had 218 to choose from! It's almost been overwhelming.
Sanja and Matt were married August 15th on the Edmonds waterfront. It was a beautiful Seattle summer day. A great day to get married!
Here's their wedding album.
I had the pleasure of shooting Amanda and Aubrey's wedding on July 11th. Amanda is one of the sweetest and prettiest girls I've met. Aubrey is a great guy who's well grounded and knows what he wants. Seeing them together left no doubt they were in love.
Amanda and Aubrey were surrounded by a great group of loving and supportive friends and family. Here's the online version of their Wedding Album. The hard copy is being printed as I write by one of the coolest album companies out there; KISS Wedding Books. I hope you enjoy viewing their pictures as much as I did creating them.
Sanja and Matt contacted me to shoot their wedding this coming August 15th! In the meantime we got together for an engagement session. Their wedding will be help on the Edmonds waterfront. We checked out the venue and took some shots on the beach. We then loaded up everything in Sanja's car and found a really cool park nearby.
Here's some of their pictures:
Laura and Israel had their engagement party June 5th on the Argosy Cruise on South Lake Union. What a great party! The cruise went out the Montlake Cut to Lake Washington and back to South Lake Union. The Dj was Jason Henne, who was fantastic, and kept everyone moving. Laura and Israel's family and friends were a whole lot of fun to be around. Thank you Laura and Israel for letting us photograph your event. Can't wait until your wedding next year on June 5th at
The Inn at Port Ludlow
I had the pleasure of shooting with Meeh shel on February 12th. We had a great time creating some amazing images to document her pregnancy. Meeh shel is one of the makeup artists that I use for photo sessions. She's incredibly talented and very creative. She's a licensed esthetician, and loves to take care of her clients. I'm positive she'll make a wonderful Mother.
Here's what Meeh shel had to say about her photos
"I just got my photos. Thanks! It all looks so awesome~!!"
As you can tell, she's going to have a boy. Congratulations Meeh shel!
I had the opportunity to do Stormy's maternity shoot for her second baby, Madelline Isabella, on January 22nd. The session was originally scheduled for today, the 24th, but Stormy called and said she wasn't sure she'd still be pregnant! So we moved the appointment up a couple of days.
Stormy delivered baby Madeline 31/2 days later on January 26th at 11:16 a.m.. During the shoot, Stormy was wonderful. She was calm, peaceful, and very serene. She knew her baby was coming sooon. In fact, during her session she said she was already dialated a bit and having contractions. Fortunately Baby Madeline waited a couple of days before entering the world, and I was lucky enough to capture some beautiful images of her mommy. Hope you enjoy them.