Friday, July 31, 2009

New baby pictures on location in Tampa

In the past, I've always had new mom's bring their baby to my studio space in Tampa for those first important pictures. Lately I've been thinking of doing it the other way around. New mom's already have so much to deal with without having to pack up all the baby gear and come to the studio. Shooting a new baby at home also allows me to use some of the natural environment for more creative pictures while at the same time getting the required "fingers and toes" shots. Fortunately, since babies are so small, I can carry a small black backdrop into the home and get studio quality pictures.

Tampa baby photography by Booray Perry Photography

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Olivia in the desert

Taking pictures of toddlers is hard because they don't sit still. You spend the entire session crawling around on your hands and knees trying to get an angle on the child and usually end up covered in dirt or grass. However, it's the exploring nature of toddlers that makes for such good pictures. You don't have to tell a 1-year-old to "act natural," they are always acting natural and it can make for some great pictures if you are fast enough to get into position when they happen.

For more of my Tampa baby pictures, visit my website.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Excuse me, would you like me to take that picture for you?

As so often happens when I am walking around with my camera, I ended up taking pictures of strangers while in Las Vegas. It's very hard to "turn-off" my photographer switch. It happened twice on this trip. The first time I was in The Bellagio and saw a couple attempting to take a picture of themselves with an old, (gulp!) film camera. The second time it was at The Forum Shops at Caesar's Palace where I saw a man trying to take a picture of his entire family (20 people). I have always had a tendency to step up whenever I see something like this and offer to take the picture for them (with their camera) so that they can be in the picture. However, sometimes I just know that the picture will not be very good because of the light and the limitations of the small camera they own and so I will offer to shoot it with my camera and send them the image. I know, I'm a professional photographer and shouldn't be giving away my work but I just hate to see a good picture opportunity ruined by a cheap camera when I have my rig in my hand.

When I saw this family posing I immediatly knew that they weren't going to get the picture they were hoping for. This picture taken with a small point-and-shoot camera would look like a group of people standing in front of a black cave with a few lights in it. You would never get the ceiling and background to show up because the lens is too small to let in enough light.

More on

Red Rocks, Las Vegas portrait session

I'm just back in town from a week in Las Vegas. I have a client there who wanted some family pictures at Red Rocks, a beautiful part of the desert just outside of town.

My clients were on a tight schedule so we only had about a half hour before dark to take the portraits. I would have stayed all day if I could have just to take High Dynamic Range shots but we were losing daylight fast. Still, I was able to get one good HDR shot before we lost the light.

I'll get some of the portrait shots online in a day or two but first, time to un-pack

See more of my work at

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tampa wedding photography at Palma Ceia Country Club

Lindsey and Tom had their reception at Palma Ceia Country Club in Tampa and it was beautiful. The room was wonderful, lots of light and those gorgeous tall windows along one wall.

There are so many great locations at Palma Ceia in Tampa for wedding photography that I could have easily shot twice as many pictures. I especially liked the wallpaper:

More pictures from the Palma Ceia Country Club in wedding coming soon so stay tuned! (or, just go to my website, there are more pictures there....)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Tampa Wedding with Lindsey and Tom at Grace Catholic

Lindsey and Tom first met as pre-shoolers in daycare at St. Paul's Catholic in Tampa. Two weeks ago they were married there and I was their photographer. You've got to love a story like that!

More pictures coming soon!

See all my wedding photography at

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Bar Mitzvah pictures at Rodeph Sholom (part 2)

I wanted to post a few more pictures from the Bar Mitzvah at Rodeph Sholom real quick because I have a couple of weddings that I'll be posting soon and i don't want to forget.

This was taken inside the temple. Two sisters and their two sister-in-laws. It's a really nice family grouping.

It wouldn't be a Bar Mitzvah without this picture. I love the Torah because it's such a dominate item in any photograph.

Not the Bar Mitzvah boy ( a cousin I think ) but he was such a great sport about posing for me and his portrait turned out great.

See more Bar Mitzvah photography on my website..

Friday, July 10, 2009

She's a natural

I've created a monster in my oldest child. It is now impossible for me to do any work in the living room with my camera without being hounded to let her take pictures. She's not big enough to hold the camera herself yet but she can certainly rock the tripod!

What I love about this picture is the way she is holding her left foot.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Tampa Bar Mitzvah at Rodeph Sholom

I was talking to a client yesterday and realized that I had neglected to post pictures from my last Bar Mitzvah at Congregation Rodeph Sholom in Tampa. Rodeph Sholom is the oldest congregation in the city and they have a historical marker plaque out front that tells about the original temple. (There's nothing I love more than a good historical plaque and I have been known to pull the car over on trips every time I see one.)

I'll post a few images over the next couple of days but I wanted to get this one on the website right away because it's one of my favorites. This is the Bar Mitzvah boy's sister who was holding the candle during the Havdalah to mark the end of the Shabbat.

One of the unexpected pleasures of being a Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah photographer in Tampa is the privilege of being a witness to these wonderful traditions. It's a real pleasure to be allowed inside a gathering of family and friends and be a part of these special moments.

I love my job. :)

For more examples of my Bar Mitzvah photography, visit my website at

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

How to take better pictures: Composition

Today I want to talk about some basics of good photography. We're going to talk about composition because most people would be amazed at how much their photographs would improve if they just paid a little more attention to composition. It doesn't matter if you are using an expensive DSLR, a moderate Point-and-Shoot or a camera phone because composition has nothing to do with technology. If you want to take better pictures, start with a few simple techniques...

I think that most people tend to fall into the trap of thinking that a good picture should be a close-up. Parents in particular ride that "zoom" button like their waiting for an elevator. Close-ups are good, sure, but we need to capture more... we need to show enviroment, situation and motion. We need to expand beyond the retorical and into the reality of space and how it effects us. We need to stop writing "we" and trying to sound all pretentious and educated and... and... stuff. Still reading? Good job! I stopped about three sentences ago.

It's not artsy or visionary or anything like that. It's simple and it looks like this:

Why does this picture work? First, the subject is placed at the correct spot in the picture. How do you know where the correct spot is? Like this:

There's a name for this little diagram but I'm not going to tell you what it is because I want you to look it up for yourself in case there's a pop quiz. Also, it's possible I forgot it. Anyway, take any picture and draw two sets of lines on it. Where the lines meet is where you want something important. (Boy, I am laying down the smack with the technical terms!) It's true, very rarely do you want the subject of your picture in the dead center. The picture will almost always be more interesting if you place them off center at one of the intersections (or close to one). It doesn't have to be the whole subject either... maybe it's a close up and you just place the center of their forehead at an intersection. Doesn't matter as long as you place something there. This takes no artistic talent whatsoever and while you may have to remind yourself to do it at first, eventually it will become second nature and you will just naturally compose this way. Also, if you play tic-tac-toe you should always start at a corner (that's a freebie right there). The other thing you can work on is tilting the camera:

Notice how the slide starts in the top right corner and runs across the picture to the bottom left corner? Why do you think that is? Well, it's so that the slide will look as long as possible and also because straight lines that cut your picture in half are death. Pure death. Most of the time. (I should take this moment to mention that I could be wrong about all of this... but I could be a friggin' GENIUS!) Tilt the camera. Tilt it a lot. Spend a whole day taking pictures and tilting the camera. You will be amazed at how much more fun your pictures will be. Suddenly there will be motion where there was stillness, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria! Which brings us to the third thing that makes this picture work: Incredibly cute little girl.

Whenever possible, try to take pictures of children who are incredibly cute. Precious. Breathtakingly, heartachingly, sweet.

So, that's it for today. Remember: work the hot spots, tilt the camera, drink plenty of fluids and eat some fiber every morning. You'll thank me later.

Booray Perry is a photographer in Tampa FL

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Wedding pictures on CD

I've written before about the different types of wedding photographers (shoot-and-burn vs. prints) and I've written about why you should get a professional wedding album Today I want to talk about why you should get a CD of all your images from a photographer who makes albums.

This topic came to mind earlier this week when a client brought me her wedding pictures. She was married up north and used a shoot-and-burn photographer. Now she wants a professional album made from the images.

In case you don't know, a shoot-and-burn photographer is one who just delivers your wedding pictures on disc and doesn't offer prints or albums.

Anyway, I've been looking at the pictures and they need a lot of work. It's not unusual for wedding pictures to need a lot of work because a typical wedding day is shot under so many changing conditions... but these pictures need more than usual. That got me to thinking about how I deliver my images on disc.

The difference between using a shoot-and-burn photographer and using someone like me is that I'm hoping to sell you prints or an album even if you have already said that you just want the disk. Knowing that I may be making an album out of the images will affect the way I work right down the line. I will work harder to get the images right in the camera and I will work harder to get the images right for your disk because I know that these are the images that I will have to pull from if you want an album and the better they are now the less work I will have to do in retouch on your album.

Also, when I am shooting the wedding I am on the lookout for pictures that will make good background images on a page or serve to tie together different parts of the wedding. These are pictures I need for good album design but if I never made albums I wouldn't shoot them.

Finally, I have to always remember that every picture I take has the potential to be printed by me with my name on it. If I didn't print my pictures then this wouldn't be a concern because my name isn't on the images that are on a disk. But knowing that I may be asked to print any image and it will be displayed with my signature is a different level of responsibility. Now, every image has the potential to be a showcase for my work and reputation. That's strong incentive to do a good job.

There are some good shoot-and-burn photographers out there, certainly. But I have never seen a top-level wedding photographer who doesn't offer prints and albums.

Booray Perry is a Tampa wedding photographer. See his work here.