Sunday, August 11, 2013

Tilapia Foil Packets on the Food Network

Tilapia Foil Packets on the Food Network

For those of you who follow the blog, I'M BACK!!!  Was able to get ahold of the password, reset it, and I promise you will hear more from me from now on!  Many stories to tell, images to share, and pilot stories to interest the minds!!

This evening I am doing this recipe as it is a tried & true recipe that is very simple, health, and tasty.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Wedding Planning, as a Photographer

Recently I got the privelage of another photographer referring a wedding to me that they couldn't do. After meeting with the couple, I really enjoyed their enthusiasm, and their attention to detail which made me know that they were the right clients I was looking for, and I accepted to bring them on as clients.

The couple is full of laughs on a constant basis, and when I met with both of them. They had familiar faces that I just couldn't put my finger on where I had seen them before. (The wedding cake made me remember where I had seen them before, you guys will see this in a minute)

*****Disclosure Statement*****
Since 90% of my readers are aspiring photographers who look to turn pro, this information is aimed at them. The rest of you can skip to the pictures!
If you want to shoot weddings, GOOD LUCK if you are doing it because of the $$$$ and I'll leave it at that. For those of you who shoot weddings because you enjoy them, you like capturing the fun, the laughter, the tears, you are somewhat of an orchestra conductor, and you can be creative on the fly outside of what your shotplan was setup to do, the $$$$ will find you. TRUST ME!

Being here in Key West for only 8 months I have already seen ALLOT of people's weddings ruined because 1)They didn't research their photographer, or just trusted a "wedding planner" 2)Hired someone because of a VERY CHEAP RATE 3)Thought they were a good photographer because they were coming down from mainland Florida to do their wedding (which really goes back to #1)

Now those are just to mention a few, but I am writing about them today because I hope that each of you whether photographer, or fan of my blog can pass this on to someone you know who can learn from it. IT IS A LIFETIME EVENT. If YOU as a photographer can't get those important moments please do the couple justice and refere a photographer who can. You will gain so much credit in the industry amongst photographers, and it will come back to help you out one day! If you are family of a groom/bride to be please pass this on to them as well.

A Photographer/Client relationship has to work together. As a photographer you have to enjoy your clients, because THERE WILL BE A TIME when someone outside the relationship wants to decide to direct your clients event, and/or your photoshoot. You as a Photographer need to understand the stresses that your clients go through leading up to their event, and especially right before the event begins. You are going to have to be the one that reminds them to smile, you are going to have to be the buffer that gets in the way and gets their attention away from the people who are unknowingly taking the joy out of the event, and most importantly the smiles off the clients faces! This is why I mentioned earlier that when I sit down with a potential client, THE CLIENT MUST FIT ME, and MY STYLE. If not the $$ isn't worth doing the job, unless we get into a 6 Figure PayDay! For 6 figures, I will put up with the BS to make sure I get the shots I want!

Once I found out that the clients fit me, I began moving into the decision making process, and the planning of how I wanted to do their shoot. I showed interest in their needs, and their event. I planned a meeting with the bride at the private location so we can literally walk through everything. Where they were going to stand, where were people seated, how many people, etc... As a photographer you have to be able to imagine these people actually sitting there, to be able to see how you are going to move, what shots are going to work, what isn't, because YOU ARE NOT APART OF THE WEDDING. You want to be seen as little if any at all. If it is a small venue, well unfortunately you are going to become a part of the wedding, and that is just the nature of the beast per say.

I left that day knowing I had the event nailed to a "T". I even had the sunlight planned out as to how it was going to be coming through the trees, and where it coming through at in a worst case scenario since this was an outdoors wedding with scattered tree cover. I even went back a week prior to the wedding, with a stand in model to verify it and get my lighting nailed with 2 off camera strobes on radios.

The day of the event, and the entire setup that we did several weeks prior was changed as I found out about an hour before the event! All that planning down the drain, so here comes that "better be creative" on your feet that I mentioned. Because I had the right client relationship, it gave me the desire to quickly setup, and re-plan, as well as prepare for shooting in shadows, instead of the sunlight!

Now had I been a photographer who was just "chasing the $$" as some people put it. I would have had no desire to make sure the shots were anything that was going to stand out right? These clients fit me, and I enjoy having them as clients, therefore I was determined to beat the gremlins and get my shots!

Ok let's make the folks smile! As I said before, your clients are going to be going through ALLOT of stresses, and you have to be the buffer, and you have to get in and get them to pull off some grins that aren't faked. There is no way in the world, you can expect your clients to get images like this by faking a smile.
Joe Williams Photography

Plan your shoot to get them away from people, you need to get them where it is just them and hopefully you have a great surrounding to work with. It's their day, let your work show that!

When you get something that is unique to an event SHOOT IT. Don't spend allot of time on it as it is not your main focus, but put forth the effort to make sure you get the uniqueness of whatever it is!

Depending on your style, even the times when your clients aren't smiling can turn into some great shots that your clients will cherish.

Now remember when I said the first time I met my clients, that I knew I had seen them somewhere before, but I couldn't put my finger on it? Well, the wedding cake let me know where I had seen them before!

Thanks for reading, and please share this with any photographer that you know who "thinks" they are a wanting to become a wedding photographer. Or even a Bride/Groom who is about to be walking down the aisle. I feel by reading this, it can help both the photographer, and the future Brides/Grooms, and families as well.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Midsummer's Night & Spectacle

A Midsummer Night's Dream is a play that was written by William Shakespeare. It is believed to have been written between 1590 and 1596. It portrays the events surrounding the marriage of the Duke of Athens, Theseus, and the Queen of the Amazons, Hippolyta. These include the adventures of four young Athenian lovers and a group of amateur actors, who are manipulated by the fairies who inhabit the forest in which most of the play is set. The play is one of Shakespeare's most popular works for the stage and is widely performed across the world.

In Key West, FL the famous Carol Tedesco helped put on one of the biggest events of the Summer at the Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Gardens with the theme from the play in mind.

While in the Keys, you can't help but have fresh coconuts to sip on during the heat of summer.

People of all ages dressed the part, and had a great time at the event.




With the current interactive art show which is going on in the gardens, you could even play your own magical tunes on the artwork provided.

If you didn't want to make your own, you could take a stroll down the path

and follow the sounds of music, to sit and enjoy local musicians packing in the seats.

As I was shooting a shot of the famous Kathy Kirby.....

I heard the unmistakable sound of the hand clap/whistle combination which only means one thing!!! Time for the Cuban Dancing to begin!

Beth and her fellow partners put on one heck of a great show for everyone.

After they warmed up, and the crowd was moving. Out came the Conga Line.



Whether you came to dance, socialize, eat/drink, or just plain laugh it was a great time for all generations.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Historical Times

This weeks blog, actually took place outside of the Florida Keys for a change. The Historic Triangle of America was the resting spot for me across a 13 day span during July. My days were spent playing with the theories, and management practices of radiation so no fun for photography there.

When I did get away, it took a short drive over to the Yorktown Battlefield National Park. To learn about our American History I chose to take the Park Ranger Tour which is very lengthy and in depth.

There are a group of volunteers that put on a good show where they dress up in costume, and do a live fire on 2 canons.

Prior to firing the canon's they must be cleaned, which is performed by this giant q-tip which is soaked in water. Here he drains the q-tip prior to cleaning out the canon.

Here we are kickin' it in what was British territory.

The original "earthworks" are still here so that you can see how the soldiers dug trenches and mounds to place the canons in strategic positions. There are many paths to walk on as well to make it an enjoyable day walking amongst the historic battlefield.

If you had the glory of being the one to operate the canons here is what your view would have looked just before battle!

If you made it onto the shores coming by water, you would have met several of these "little" guys upon your arrival!

If you made it past those little guys, you could expect their bigger brothers to be waiting on you a little further up the hill from the water!

The men standing by were ready for your arrival with open arms and plenty of fireworks!

As you can imagine it was a pretty loud event, when these bad boys lit off!

It also provided a pretty good smoke screen as well.

After the guided tour, and the canon firings... I took an audio cd guided tour that let me drive around to a 14 mile tour of the entire battlefield.

On the tour it took me to the National Cemetery here on the battlefield. I really love this wall, and I'm interested in getting a replica built for my backyard. I really like the design of it, got the whole antique look to it, ya think?

Allot of soldiers in their final resting spot.

On down the road we go, it is so beautiful there.

I'm digging the colonial style houses from back in the day. Even the old wooden style shingles on the roof.



You gotta love how water, just snakes through the woods & grass!

I can only imagine how much work went into putting together fences/barriers during the revolutionary war!

Here's where it all came to an end, and this blog comes to an end as well! They Surrendered, and we had one heck of a bonfire! "Surrender Field"

Friday, July 29, 2011

Q&A: Shooting while with family, how?

This question was written by Jessica B. from Salem, MA and I thought it would be a great oppertunity to share with the rest of you.

"Joe, I want to first say that I enjoy your blog weekly as I am waiting in traffic I can flip to it with my phone and see your great photos. I see that you travel allot, and you are with your kids as well. I have tried to take pictures when I travel, but my kids always complaign and get frustrated when I try to take pictures of them. How do you do it?"

Jessica, this isn't something that is going to happen over night. I got it the way I do because this has been a long time in the making! I went through that phase as well where my kids would not want to be in front of the camera at all. "Dad....not again....I'm tired of smiling".

Over the years, they began to see the images that I was coming up with and then I did this shot here, and I soon turned into the coolest dad in the world to them.

Things that helped me be able to shoot while on vacation, but still give the family the time they deserve.

Rules to Follow:
1. Family comes First, allot of times that means I can't be a photographer and I have to turn into a tourist/snapshot artist :) I have had to pass up the oppertunity on ALLOT of things to just shoot it and go, instead of taking the time to let a cloud cover the sun, an animal to change his position, a truck to move out of the way to give me better composition, etc...I'm sure you get the point.

2. Depending on how old your kids are, or if you are married or not you are going to have to do some planning. If you are married let your partner know that you would like a day to yourself to just be on your own and shoot. For guys, I'm sure if you told your wife "Baby, I'll take the kids for the day you go have fun at the mall or the spa" that it would be a good trade off for her to get that, and return the favor by giving you a day on your own for photography. If you are a woman, and need some time alone to shoot, offer your man something he hasn't got to do in a long time. It could be something simple like breakfast in bed, let him sleep in, schedule a pedicure for him (yes make him go) because you know his feet need some attention! Be creative, men aren't that hard to please women if you catch what I'm saying!

If you don't have time to give each other a day alone, wake up early before the sun comes up, and take advantage of the best lighting of the day! Catch the Blue Hour and the Golden hour at a place you had seen previously or scouted online for. Keep this in mind, for you "directionally challenged" folks. You need to understand whether what you want to capture at sunrise faces the North, East, South, or West! I've heard a many photographers tell me "I've seen this place online and it is spectacular with sunset shots" only for them to not know what they were looking at was facing the west or the east, and if the picture they were seeing was truly a sunrise or a sunset shot. They show up to do the shot, and figure out the hard way that they are there at the wrong time of the day! HINT...the sun rises in the EAST so you need to make sure that light coming from the EAST is going to illuminate your subject like you want! By you waking up early, and going to shoot, you can probably knock out easily a good 20+ quality shots before the rest of your family even gets out of bed!

Give your kids cheap point and shoots! Let them have fun while they are out. I even put ideas into a hat, and let them draw from a hat to see what they are shooting. I might put in the word "green", and whoever draws "green" out, has to shoot everything green that they see, but the composure has to be creative. For my 9yr old it took him some time to learn creative composition, but 2yrs ago he had fun just finding the "green" things.

You want pictures of your family on vacation, but they won't smile or give you the attitude of not wanting to be in front of the camera? This is easy, and is a great icebreaker to get them opened up and back in front of the camera. SHOOT CANDID...SHOOT CANDID...SHOOT CANDID. Leave them alone, and don't force them to stand in front of the camera. Let them be them, and watch them closely for great candid shots. Some of the best shots of people come from it being a candid shot, and not a staged one. It has more natural feeling to it. Below is one of the shots, where my son was sitting on a Canon at Ft.Zachary Taylor in Key West, FL. It was a candid shot, where I just took advantage of what he was providing, and I moved accordingly to position the sun behind his head, then adjusted exposure settings to give me my Starburst effect from the sun. Several other of his classmates asked him, "how come your dad was crawling on the ground" and my son says. Oh, he takes photos, he's pretty good, so he was probably making another good photo. It was quiet comical

Your family can also help you add to the element of the photo as well. I took them to an outdoor art exhibit along the beach and we found this frame, that framed the ocean. My daughter jumped behind it, and stuck her head through it making it a 3D Photo, and mimic'd the moving pictures from the movie Harry Potter.

Don't get your hopes up that you will have a perfect, photogenic, and photography acceptable family. Enjoy them while they are kids, because before long they will be gone, and you will have all the time in the world to have your "photography" days!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Fun with Panorama Photos

All of these images were taken with the Samsung Epic 4G utilizing it's panoramic feature.

The Famous Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville, in Key West, FL.
Margaritaville, Key West, FL

Downstairs at Turtle Kralls, in Key West, FL

The Hawg Family at Hog's Breath Saloon, in Key West, FL
The Hawg family @ Hogs Breath Saloon.

Candlewood Suites, Newport News, VA
Candlewood Suites, Newport News, VA

Last Chance Bar, Key West International Airport
Last Chance Bar

Beach at the Key West International Airport
Airport Beach

Nauticus, Norfolk, VA
Norfolk, VA

Sunset over Ft. Zach, Key West, FL
Sunset, at Truman Annex