Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Booray's Better Pictures Class!

I'll be starting a new session of my beginner photography classes in January!

The class will be three weeks, every Sunday starting 1/9 (1/9, 1/16, 1/23).  Cost is $50 per class.

As usual I will cover all the basics of photography from composition to exposure.  When we are done you will be a photographer!  At the very least you will finally be able to understand that expensive DSLR that you have been carrying around and using on "auto."

Contact me right away because space is limited.  booray@boorayperry.com

Friday, December 17, 2010

Santa pictures at Hyde Park Village

I'm spending a week taking pictures of Santa Claus at Hyde Park Village and it's really a wonderful experience.

First, a little inside scoop on photographers.  Most photographers specialize in one sort of photography.  Some are wedding photographers and some are baby photographers.  Some shoot sports and Little League and some shoot school portraits.  Which field you specialize in is based on what you like, what you're good at and what makes money, not necessarily in that order.  There's also some ego stuff involved sometimes... fashion photographers would never lower themselves to shooting a wedding, wedding photographers would never stoop to shooting Little league. That sort of thing.

My problem is that I like to work.  If someone asks me to do a job and I'm not already booked, there's a good chance I'll do it.  I have a family to support and there's pride to be had in working but the main reason is that I enjoy being a photographer.  Any kind of photographer.  There's joy to be had in the work, the people you meet and the pride of doing a good job.  That's why it's not unusual to see me photographing a high-end wedding one day and a High School prom the next.  I've turned down jobs before for various reasons but I don't know many photographers who work in as wide a variety of fields as I do.

This is the first time that I've ever signed on for such a long session (6 days total).  I'm two days in and I can't tell you how much I'm loving it.

Friday, December 3, 2010

St. Petersburg Beach Wedding

I recently had the privilege of shooting another wedding for Perfect Florida Beach Wedding.  I say "privilege" because I don't really get paid for it since my wife, Bobbi, owns the company.  It's more like:

"Are you working on this date?
"Good, your photographing my wedding."

It's good to be the king.  :)

This particular beach wedding was different than most because they booked a lot of extra time with me.  Usually, beach weddings run about an hour, although sometimes the client will book an extra hour of photography.  Rebecca and Ben booked me for 6 hours so it was almost like a normal wedding for me in which Bobbi just happenned to be providing all the trappings.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Tampa Wedding Photography at Renaissance International Hotel in Tampa

 Tampa wedding photographers busiest day?
This year's big wedding date was Oct. 10th.  Why October 10th?  Well, if you were married on Oct. 10th of this year than your wedding date was 10/10/10 and that's a cool wedding date to have!  I'll bet there wasn't a single wedding photographer in Tampa Bay that wasn't working on that day.  I personally had at least three couples meet with me about getting married on that day but the ones that got me were Jeff and Jessica.

I love a client who loves good wedding photography.
Not everyone is as concerned about their wedding photography as they should be.  Jeff and Jessica are the kind of clients that I love because they not only felt that their photography was the most important thing but they had ideas.  You might remember them from the engagement session that we did in the Ybor section of Tampa.  They showed up dressed up and ready to rock.  We got incredible images.  I even entered a couple of them into photography competition this year.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Wedding lighting with off-camera light

I recently posted this picture on Facebook and I know that some of my photographer friends might be interested in the lighting so here's complete breakdown of the shot:

First, the settings
f2.8 - 1/160 - iso1600

This was the first wedding where I used the PocketWizard MiniTT1 and FlexTT5.  I've already talked about the advantages of having TTL control with off-camera lighting but this is the first time that I've also used zone control.

I set up my off-camera strobe (Canon 580EX) at the corner of the dance floor.  In this shot, it's to my left.  I pointed it at the ceiling with about a 45 degree angle.

On-camera is my 580EXII pointed straight up with a bounce card pointed forward.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Ritz, Ybor and a Canon 5d mkII

Yesterday I was at The Ritz in Ybor for an open house.  I wasn't sure what to expect when I was invited.  Is it a bridal show?  A showcase for the venue?  It's actually a little of both.  They put bands on-stage in three rooms doing 20 minute sets all night.  If you're looking for a band, it's a great chance to audition a bunch of different people in one night.  They also invite some vendors, and that's where I came in.

A couple of months ago I met Okie at a luncheon.  He works for The Ritz and I told him that I was shooting a Bat Mitzvah there in February.  I also mentioned the new portrait stations that we were doing and he asked me to come set one up at the open house.  Everybody that came by our table got a free 4x6 printed right there.  It was quite popular and we met a lot of really nice people. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

PocketWizard Mini TT1 and Flex TT5 review part 3

These reviews are getting to be a habit!

Tomorrow I have a shoot at the International Mall in Tampa.  The Janie and Jack store gives away a free 8x10 to customers once a year and this year I'm the guy taking the pictures.

As I always do whenever I'm taking my studio gear on location, I first set everything up in my living room.  I have a studio in my house but I'm so paranoid that I move my gear to my living room and set up.  Then, I take pictures of my kids.  Finally, after everything checks out the way I want it to, I break the equipment down and stack it by the front door.  It's a little obsessive/compulsive I know... but it guarantee's that I have everything I need with me since it's unlikely that I will leave something behind in the middle of the living room (something I could easily do in my cluttered studio.)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Pocketwizard MiniTT1 and FlexTT5 review part 2

I haven't had a chance to try the new Pocketwizard Mini TT1 and Flex TT5 at a wedding yet but I have used them for a couple of Senior Sessions and an Engagement Session. 

I've encountered a couple of problems. 

First, the special "interference" hotshoe that comes with the transmitter doesn't seem to work.  I contacted PW about it and they said they would send me another one.  That was two weeks ago.  I sent them an email last week to ask about it and haven't heard back yet.  I was impressed with how quick they were to respond and promise a replacement but now I'm wondering if I got lost in the shuffle.  Luckily, I don't seem to have a need for it but if I did I would be pretty upset at having sat on these remotes for two weeks without being able to use them.

Monday, September 27, 2010

What's in Booray's bag?

Well, it's taken about a dozen attemptsto finally make this video but at long last it is finished.  It wasn't hard to do, I just seemed to run into obstacle after obstacle when trying to get the thing uploaded to You Tube.

There are two video's (because I carry so much crap). 

If you've ever wondered what I carry in my bag, here's the complete break-down:

Part 1

Part 2

As always, you can see all my Tampa bay Wedding Photography at http://www.boorayperry.com/

Friday, September 24, 2010

Senior Portraits Tampa

I've been photographing a lot of Tampa Bay Seniors lately for my Senior Model Program.  Each model was photographed in a different location and using slightly different styles.  Let's start off with Justine:

Justine is from Northeast High School.  We chose downtown St. Petersburg for her session because she thinks of herself as both a city girl and a country girl.  Downtown St. Pete offers a little of both!

I started off in a favorite alley.  All photographers love a good alley!  It's always funny the way people will look at you when you are in some dirty back alley taking pictures.  I used off-camera lighting the entire day (I'm addicted to off-camera light).  This particular image was de-saturated a bit and curves-adjusted to maximize the contrast.  Justine really looks older in this one.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mommy Card Day is Oct. 9th!

Mommy Cards are like business cards only a little smaller. The front contains a great picture of your child and the back contains Mom's contact information. These cards are unique, beautiful and so much more personal than handing someone a regular business card. Think of all the parents you meet at school functions, dance, soccer, little league, cheerleading, etc. Wouldn't it be great to have a card with their child's picture and contact info? Want to arrange a playdate? Just hand them your Mommy Card!
Give one to the babysitter

Give one to your child's teacher

Give one to the parents of your children's friends and classmates

Put them in Holiday cards, birthday cards, "thank you" cards...

With two girls in school, we meet so many kids.... it would be so nice if we had an easy way of contacting parents. The Mommy Card makes it easy because the child's picture is right on the card! It's so easy now, when we meet other parents, to just hand them a Mommy Card. People love them!

Mommy Card sessions are 15 minutes long. Later, you'll come in to view your images and pick out the card design (several to choose from) and picture you want (you are welcome to purchase prints, etc... of course!). The session price includes 100 cards and a tin case. More cards can be ordered as needed.

All for just $99!

More than one child? No problem! Each extra child is $49 and you can split the cards up between them (My wife carries a card for each of my daughters). Each child get's a full session.

Email us at the address below and we will send you an electronic invoice and your session time. All times will be after 1PM on Saturday, Oct. 9th. Feel free to request a specific time.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Review: PocketWizard Flex TT5 and Mini TT1

I had a chance to use my new PocketWizard FlexTT5 and MiniTT1 remotes last week and I wanted to write down some first impressions.

First, let me detail the pro's and con's of why I bought these remotes:


1. Off-camera ETTL: This is a no-brainer and the main reason that anyone buys these remotes. Dumb-fire remotes can be had for a fraction of the cost (I have Paul Buff Cybersyncs and they have never let me down.) The line-of-sight restrictions with Canon's built-in infrared system are too confining.

2. Hotshoe mounts: I really like the idea that I can do away with the cord-attached remotes that I have now. I've never liked having to attach the transmitter with a synch cord, especially when I shoot with two cameras and often move my flash between them.

3. Hypersync: The new PocketWizards claim to allow shooting at very fast shutter speeds. For someone who shoots in Florida sun all the time, the idea of being able to shoot with flash at 1/1000 is very attractive.

Family Portrait Day 2010

Everyone has been asking about this so I had better get the ball rolling!

Family Beach Portrait Day 2010 will be Sunday, Oct. 3rd, 2010.

Cost is $99 and includes 25 holiday cards with your choice of picture.  This is a savings of $160 over our regular price for a beach session!  It's without a doubt the cheapest way to get that great family beach portrait you've always wanted!

Space is limited as we only have a few hours where the light is perfect.  It's first-come-first-serve so sign-up as soon as possible to reserve your spot.  Email booray@boorayperry.com to register!

Monday, August 30, 2010

How to justify buying Mini TTL

Flash being held by the subject's Dad who
graciously helped out after the flash foot
snapped off...
I've been thinking about buying the new PocketWizard TTL remotes for my flashes.  Every other week I will go online and read the reviews again, eventually deciding to wait because they're a little pricey and I have perfectly good Cybersync remotes.  Then something happened yesterday to force my hand (at least that's what I keep telling myself.)

I was shooting a Bar Mitzvah boy on Clearwater Beach.  Normally, my assistant Jodi is along on these sessions but she had a pile of homework so I went solo.  Instead of using a shoot-thru umbrella, I decided to use a Lumiquest III mini-softbox.  The umbrella would just be too dangerous on a semi-windy beach without Jodi there to hold it.  The softbox wouldn't be a problem.

I was wrong about that.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Clearwater beach wedding album - Shephard's

Christa and Mike's wedding album is at the printers.  The wedding was at Shephard's Resort on Clearwater Beach.  It was a great wedding, really fun group of people from Boston and New York.  I remarked several times that I would prefer it if I could just pack away the gear and party!

There were some challenges.  This being Florida in the summer it was very hot of course so by the time I was shooting formals everyone was covered in a shiny layer of perspiration.  There were a lot of distractions in the background but nothing that a little photoshop couldn't fix.  Everyone was a great sport and it was an awesome party (complete with a rowsing rendition of "Sweet Caroline".... BAH, BAH, BAAAHHH!)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

New Photography Class

The next series of Booray's Better Pictures Class starts on Sunday, August 29th at 1PM.  There are four classes in all and they will be held every Sunday at the same time for four weeks.  Cost is $35 per class.

The only requirement is a DSLR camera.

Classes will cover composition, aperture, shutter speed, ISO and "tricks of the trade."  Classes are geared toward people who have nice cameras but little knowledge of the fundamentals of photography.  Special emphasis is placed on photographing children.

From a former student:

I have taken many beginner photography courses over the years at USF, St Pete College, and Dunedin Fine Arts Center, to name a few. It was not until I took Booray's Beginner Class that it all clicked! He has such a "real" way of teaching that is so easy to understand!! I have recommended his classes to many people I know as it was some of the best money I've ever spent! I wait with anticipation for more Booray knowledge!!

Class size is limited to just six students so register soon!  Contact booray@boorayperry.com.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Shutter speed and motion explained

My friend and fellow photographer William Porter in Dallas recently wrote a great post about shutter speed and motion.  In my classes I teach beginners about "freezing motion" with shutter speed and how blur can actually be beneficial in some cases.  William does a great job of explaining just how many different things you can achieve by using the right shutter speed to convey motion.  It's worth a read (http://blog.william-porter.net/2010/08/18/horses-in-motion/)

Image copyright William Porter

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Clearwater Beach Wedding - Bonnie and Chuck

I just finished sending Bonnie and Chuck's wedding album to the printer.  Fantastic wedding and great images for the album.  We had a hard time deciding on which "beach" images to put in the album because we got so mant great candidates that day.

Bonnie was very involved in the album creation despite being in the middle of a move.  I tried a few new things on this album that really turned out nice: the blurred background, full page shot of the couple at the altar and the sepia toned backgrounds on some of the party pages.

One of the way's that I measure the quality of an album design (besides customer satisfaction) is whether or not I would want a copy for myself, to show prospective clients as an example of my work.  So far, every album I've done this year has been a candidate for "sample status."  I want another sample to add to the two I show now but I'm having a hard time deciding which one to print!

Click "Read more" to see the entire album.  (Clearwater Beach Wedding Photography pictures at http://www.boorayperry.com/)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

New Phone Photo Back!

We added a new product to our line this week.  It's a photo skin that's custom made to fit your phone.

This example is actually my personal phone, the new HTC 4G (the geek in me is still drooling...).  This skin covers the back but if I had a phone with room on the front, there would be a skin there too.


Monday, August 9, 2010

Photoshop CS5 HDR Wedding Image

I started taking HDR (High Dynamic Range) images about a year ago.  At first it was just because I thought it looked cool but then it became more of a tool for taking pictures that otherwise would be impossible.  There are times when you just can't get the look you want with flash or natural light (and times when you're not allowed to use flash) and having HDR at your disposal can really make the difference.  Here in Tampa Bay we are so often faced with incredibly bright sunlight that having HDR can really save an image.

I made the switch to Photoshop CS5 a couple of months ago and I've been impressed overall.  One of the things they did was to make the HDR a little better, although I'm comparing it to CS3 so it may be the same as it was before for you CS4 users.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Tampa Bay Senior Portraits

It's that time again!

School's about to start and it's time for Senior Pictures.  Not only is it time for the Seniors to get their sessions booked, it's also time for the Juniors to sign on and become Senior Models for Booray Perry Photography. (Click here for more details)

The Senior Model Program is open to incoming Juniors, male and female.  We accept applicants from all schools.  If you are accepted into the program you receive a free session and 100 "411" cards with your pictures and our studio info.  Then all you have to do is pass them out to your friends!  Every card that comes back with a session earns you $50 credit toward your own senior pictures and products.

The sooner you sign up the better your chances of being selected since we limit the number of models per school.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Wedding Album from Sand Pearl Resort, Clearwater

Chelsea and Ofir's wedding album arrived today.  I would love to take all the credit for the album but Chelsea was very involved in the design.  We worked well together!

This wedding was one of the few that I have photographed where the bride and groom agreed to see each other before the ceremony.  This extra time without all the distractions of friends and family allowed us to really produce a lot of stunning images.  We ended up adding three extra pages to the album!

I've been asked to feature this wedding in a magazine.  I don't want to jinx it so I'll wait to release the details...  :)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Photographer Spotlight: Hampton Roads wedding photographer John Cachero

If you happen to know anyone getting married in Hampton Roads, Va., be sure and meet with wedding photographer John Cachero.  Hampton Roads is Norfolk, Chesapeake and Virginia Beach.  I was born there.  :)

John's a great photographer, very natural in his look and feel.  One of the things that I like about his work is that he seems to be able to move seemlessly between different styles, which can be tricky.  There are a lot of photographers who stick to just one style and I always admire the ones who can move from off-camera flash to bounce to natural light smoothly.  I think it opens up a lot more options for you when you are trying to create something special.  I've often said that the word that best describes my style is "improvisational" and I think that John is a kindred spirit.

So, if you're planning a wedding in the greater Hampton Roads area of Virginia (Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, etc.), you should contact John Cachero Photography.

Here's a few samples of his work:

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tampa Dance Recital Pictures

I recently received an amusing request.

I recently took dance recital pictures for Karl & DiMarco Dance Studio. They are using two of my images for their fall advertising campaign. There was a group of four dancers in a Bob Fosse style costume at the last shoot and they are using two of them for their ads.

This week they asked me if they could get images of the other two dancers for ads as well. I have two daughters myself and I can almost guarantee that I know exactly what happened when the ads came out featuring two of the four girls. :)

Here's their website with the ads...

Monday, July 26, 2010

Tampa Bay wedding photographer gets published

I made it into the latest issue of Tampa Bay Weddings magazine.  Booray Perry Photography has an image featured on pages 16 & 18.

Here's a link to the online magazine.

I'm expecting to get a featured wedding into another magazine this month.  Wish me luck!

Clearwater Beach Wedding Planner

I've just made some changes to Perfect Florida Beach Weddings website.  My wife started the company a short while back to provide one-stop shopping for amyone looking for a wedding planner on Clearwater Beach or in St. Petersburg.

I'm happy with how the site looks, although it's been a while since I did any web design.  I added some larger pictures of my wedding photography that really make it pop!

Friday, July 23, 2010

No, you can't email me...

I'm a little annoyed today by some of my fellow photographers.  It's nothing serious, mind you, just a small thing that is annoying.

I've been sending emails out to a few photographers in other markets to pitch this idea that I have.  It's no big deal... no money or anything... but I think it's a good idea and I think it could become a great idea over time.

The problem is that I keep running into websites that won't allow me to email the owner.  What they will have is a "Contact Form" that has a few boxes for your name, email, etc but has no box for you to type in any extra information.  Also, I keep running across blogs with no email link.

That just seems crazy to me!  I have a contact form on my website (http://www.boorayperry.com/) and I have my email address on this blog.  I don't understand why a photographer would want to limit the information that a potential client can send.

It just seems odd...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wedding at Shephard's, Clearwater Beach

I recently photographed a wedding at Shephard's in Clearwater and it was a blast!  I have since discovered that I am the only person in Tampa Bay who hasn't been to Shephard's at some point.  It's an institution in this town!

Michael and Christa were merging family from Boston and New York  From the minute I showed up I knew that it was going to be a fun day.  "Bahstun" and "New Yoik" accents everywhere and lots of energy and joking were the theme for the day!

Here's a few of my favorite shots:

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Photographer Spotlight: Dallas Wedding Photographer William Porter

William Porter is a wedding photographer in Dallas, TX (my old stomping grounds..).  He's a great guy, very personable, who spent years in the academic world and it really shows on his website and blog.  I'm a big fan of information, I read constantly, and so I love a wedding photographer who writes a lot.  I also love a photographer who tests his equipment and writes about it, saving me the trouble! William's perspective is unique and I'm especially jealous of his recent trip to Yellowstone since my biggest wildlife experience of the last five years has been fishing in the golf course pond behind my house!

If you are planning a wedding in Dallas, you should give check out William's website...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wedding photography and shoes

Planning a beach wedding in Clearwater?  Go to Perfect Florida Beach Wedding for all your needs...

What's the hardest picture to take at a wedding?  Is it the first kiss?  The formals?  The bouquet toss?


It's the shoes.

That's right... the bride's shoes can sometimes be the most challenging shot I take all day.  You would think that it would be easy to take a picture of these little inanimate objects but it can be very challenging at times.  Things that don't move on their own require a lot of attention to posing (shoes, newborns, Kirstie Alley...)  It's easy to fall into a rut and shoot the shoes the same way at every wedding so I'm always looking for anything I can do that might be a little different from the norm.

Also, here in Tampa Bay I see a lot of flats and sandals at my weddings.  Taking a majestic picture of a pair of sandals is a challenge, believe me.

In an attempt to show you just how much work can go into what appears to be a quick and easy shot, here's a series of images from a recent wedding that show my thought process.  I'm sure that there are many photographers who will laugh at the time and energy I spend on these shots sometimes but that's me.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Wedding photography at the Sand Pearl, Clearwater Beach

I've been waiting a long time to post these images.

Chelsea and Ofir were married at the Sand Pearl Resort on Clearwater Beach over a month ago.  Immediately after the wedding they took off for a one month vacation in Europe and so I have been sitting on these pictures while I waited for them to return.  I don't post images to my blog before the client has come in and seen them in the viewing room on the big screen.  I don't like the idea of someone seeing their wedding images for the first time on an I-phone while sitting in traffic.

Chelsea and Ofir were a wonderful couple to work with.  Warm and funny, obviously in love, and determined to get good pictures on their wedding day.  The biggest thing you can do to help your wedding photographer get great pictures is to agree to see each other before the ceremony.  The extra time before the hectic day begins allows me to really set up some beautiful shots.

Click Read More.....

No man is an island..

My long national nightmare is almost over.

It all started when I decided it was time to replace my antiquated computer with something more capable of running the barrel of graphics programs that I require to be the world's greatest photographer.

I ordered a new computer with all the bells and whistles.  My previous computer was hand built by yours truly and I have a bit of a "thing" for fast rigs.  Yes, I'm a geek, I've never tried to deny it.

My new computer arrived and I inspected it only to discover that the hard drives had completely collapsed inside the hard drive enclosure.  They were now a stack of drives resembling a game of Jenga made from 1 terabyte drives.

So, I sent it back for repair.

Then, the same day, my old computer finally gave up the ghost.

So, for the last two weeks I have had only the small computer that I keep in the studio to keep me connected to the outside world.  I transferred my email to it and was able to conduct business but I didn't even attempt to install all the heavy-duty graphics programs that I use on a daily basis.

Finally, after two weeks of agony, my new computer returned.  I opened the case and discovered yet another game of hard drive Jenga.  So, I boxed it and sent it back for a refund.  Fool me once, shame on you... fool me twice and I want my money back a-hole.

(Note: Hard Drive Jenga would be a great name for a band...)

Today I went to CompUSA and bought a new computer off the rack, something I haven't done in well over a decade.  I had to get up and running fast because, as luck would have it, I have a lot of orders.

I'm still one program short of being able to fully resume retouching (it's Noise Ninja which won't accept my key code because I now need the 64-bit version of the software).  I have a letter in to customer support and as soon as I get that fixed I will be designing wedding albums for the next two weeks.

I also have quite a bit of blogging to do.  I want to show off some weddings I have shot this summer and I also plan to do a step-by-step breakdown of a shoe shot.  I'm going to show each shot I took and what I was thinking that led me to the final image of a bride's shoes.  You'll be surprised to discover how much work this seemingly simple shot can take.

Watch this space.... more on the way I promise.

Booray is a wedding photographer in Tampa Bay

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Wedding album from Sacred Heart Church in St. Petersburg

People are funny when it comes to their wedding albums.

I've had clients who approved my first draft and clients who went through 10 drafts.  I've had brides who censored any image that didn't show them in a flattering light and others who requested I include the goofiest, scariest pictures of them I had taken.  Like the proverbial box of choclates, you never know what you're gonna get.

I just finished uploading an album to the printer for Cheryl and Matt.  Cheryl holds the Booray Perry Photography record for most revisions (certificate in the mail).  The way I see it, while it may be true that I spent more time on her album than expected, it's also true that anyone who is as intense about their wedding album as Cheryl is someone who will cherish and display the album proudly for years to come.  As an artist, that's the best thing you can hope for.  Plus, Cheryl is about the sweetest person on the planet (and a teacher!)

A sure sign that someone is serious about their album is when they agree to pose for pictures before the ceremony.  They know that after the ceremony there isn't always enough time to get everything they want because of family and friends and the demands of the day.  Posing before the ceremony with no distractions is always preferred by photographers.

One of the things that we worked on quite a bit with her album was the backgrounds.  Typically, I like to use backgrounds that are images taken at the reception.  In Cheryl's case, the reception was in a room that was very white.  White walls, white ceiling, white floor... white.  This led to white backgrounds which didn't do enough to bring out the colors in the pictures.  So, I used vintage paper patterns on some of the pages to add some color to the backgrounds.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Beach wedding prop pays off....

You would be surprised at how many little things you have to take pictures of at a wedding.  There's the rings, the invitations, the seating cards, the table center-pieces, the flowers and so on and so on.  I'm always on the lookout for a new way to shoot one of these shots.  There are a lot of "standard" shots that most every photographer uses and it's always nice if you can come up with something that's a little more unique.

While we are on that subject, there are a few shots I won't do simply because everyone else does them.  Most notably is the "Bride and Groom's hand overlapping and resting on the bouquet" shot (the BAGHOROTB.)  I'll shoot it if I'm asked to... I'm not snotty about it or anything... I just don't shoot it of my own free will.  I don't like it and it's just an old shot.  Of course, if you like it, that's cool with me.  Everyone has their own opinion.  (is that enough backpedaling?)

Anyway, back to the point of this post...

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Perfect Florida Beach Wedding in Clearwater, St. Petersburg etc..

Perfect Florida Beach Wedding is live!

Florida beach weddings on Clearwater Beach, St. Pete Beach, Pass-a-Grille, Treasure Island, Madeira beach, Sand Key Park and Indian Rocks Shores are about to get an upgrade!

Bobbi has been working for months on her new company and as of today we are officially open for business.  Looking around the Tampa/St. Petersburg area we noticed that there aren't many options when it comes to having a beach wedding.  Most any catering company will do a beach wedding but that can get expensive.  So, Bobbi started Perfect Florida Beach Wedding to service all those brides who want a beach wedding without all the hassle.

It's a one-stop-shop for everything beach.  From chairs to arbors... flowers to music (and photography!).  Our goal is to provide start to finish service for Florida beach weddings along with the sort of photography you would expect to see at a $50,000 affair! 

Packages start at just $500 for a simple ceremony for two (perfect for the couple who are eloping).

Spread the word to anyone you know that is thinking of having a beach (or lake, park, etc...) wedding in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Treasure Island or any of the gulf beaches that Perfect Florida Beach Wedding will take care of everything and provide stunning photographs!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

New product that I love!

I mentioned on facebook about a week ago that I have been working on a new product.  I finally got my sample in last week and it's gorgeous!

It's a 30x30 canvas wrap that features 49 images from a wedding (one big one surrounded by 48 smalls).

I got the idea from an ad I saw for a photo lab that offers something similar.  They have templates for their clients but I don't need them because I can design it myself.  In the past I have always thought of canvas wraps as a "one big print" kind of thing but now I am re-thinking the entire form.

It's really something special hanging on the wall and I think my brides are going to love it!

See more of my wedding photography at www.boorayperry.com.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Booray's Flash Class is starting soon!!

This is the class that a lot of people have been asking for.  When I teach my beginning photography course, I always make it clear that owning a dedicated flash and knowing how to use it opens a whole other world of incredible images.  This class will teach you how to use your flash the way that the professional photographers do.

There will be three classes in the series.  I'm scheduling two different sets of classes because I have many students who can't make the Sunday class.  The class schedule is:

Sundays - 6/6, 6/13, 6/27 at 1:00pm

Mondays - 6/14, 6/21, 6/28 at 6:00pm

Cost is $50 per class ($150 for the series)  To register, contact me at booray@boorayperry.com or call me at (813) 728-7110

You must have a DSLR and a dedicated, hotshoe flash with a swivel head to take this class.

I will be teaching how to use flash properly inside and outside. All the tricks that I use when photographing weddings and events as well as my own family portraits.  The improvement you will see in your own photography after these classes will be incredible.  In addition to technique I'll also talk about equipment and tools that will make for better photography.  Bring a notebook because there's a lot to learn!

Space is limited so contact me right away to reserve your spot!


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Dance pictures at Karl & DiMarco

It's been a little busy the last few weeks at Casa de Booray to say the least.  Two weekends of dance recital pictures for Karl & DiMarco along with back-to-back weddings have left little time for folly.  And I'm a big fan of folly.

This is my second here shooting at Carlin DiMarco.  Last year I shot the North studio, this year I'm shooting North and South.

Taking pictures of dancers is different than taking pictures of "ordinary" people.  There's not much difference with small children but there's a huge difference with the dancers that are 11 and 12 years old.  These are girls who have been in dance for six or seven years and it shows.  When they are told to hit a pose they do it perfect just about every time.  It's fun to watch and a real joy to photograph.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Lucky me!

Dear Booray Perry,

I'd like to be able to issue you an official PPALife Certificate.  But first I need to verify your file information.

That's how the letter starts that I received from Professional Photographers of America (PPA).  The letter came in an envelope with the PPA logo and was stamped, "Reply requested within 14 days."

Wow, is this some benefit of membership in the PPA that I am unaware of?  I'm a member in good standing.  I pay my dues and I even purchase my liability insurance through PPA. I guess I need to verify my information so that I can get my official PPALife Certificate.

Let's see... they need my age and medical information and then they'll start to bill me monthly.... WAIT A MINUTE!  THIS IS LIFE INSURANCE!

I expect this sort of thing from random solicitors but it really ticks me off when an organization that I pay dues to tries to sell me something by exploiting my membership.  If you want to send me an envelope that says, "Life insurance offer for PPA Members," that's fine.  But sending me an envelope that looks like PPA business and starts with a cleverly worded paragraph designed to trick me into buying something is cheez-ball.

That's right, I said cheez-ball and I meant it. That's how I roll...

Monday, May 10, 2010

What does "Rendered for neutral gray" mean?

If you take up photography as a hobby, eventually you will come across the sentence at the top of this post.  Most of the time it's tossed out like something that is so obvious that it needs no explanation, like "Rubbing is racing" or "Lindsey Lohan is skanky."

So, in the interest of education, I'm going to attempt to explain what "rendered for neutral gray" means.  My explanation will be concise and easy to understand.  There's a good chance it will be inaccurate.

Think about your camera.  Now think about me.  Camera.  Me.  Feel better?  I know I do.

Your camera has the incredible job of measuring light.  Not just any light either.  It has to measure reflected light.  Let's say you focus your camera on a lovely bride.  The light in the room reflects off her dress and enters the camera where it is measured, cut and told to pick up it's suit a week from Tuesday.

Seriously, the light reflects off an object and enters the camera where the camera decides how much of the light it's getting is necessary to take a properly exposed image.  In order to do this, it has to have a benchmark... a starting point.  The camera has to have a number in it's little brain that says, "X amount of light is the correct amount of light for a properly exposed picture."

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...

I shot a recent wedding and encountered two things I'd never seen before.

1.  Cupcakes instead of wedding cake.

2.  Groomsmen dressed as Darth Vader.

The cupcake thing was pretty cool, actually.  The bride had built a tiered stand so that there was a huge pyramid of cupcakes topped off with custom "bride and groom" cupcakes that featured strawberries decorated like wedding attire.  It was fun to have a new challenge that was different then the regular challenge of shooting the cake.

The Darth Vader thing caught me completely by surprise.  When the bride and groom exit the church, I go with them because I often get some great shots of the two of them together in the few seconds before they are mobbed by family and friends.

I noticed as we were exiting that they were playing a Star Wars song.  I thought it was pretty funny but it wasn't until the wedding party joined us in the back room that I really got the joke.  The groomsmen had hidden Darth Vader masks underneath the Unity Candle table and quickly put them on for the walk-off.

When the Darth Vader Groomsmen entered the back room where the bride and groom were waiting, the bride said, "Who's idea was this and why didn't someone tell Booray!"

Luckily, I had my assistant Jodi with me that day and she was camped out in the balcony with her camera.  She got shots of the Sith Lords as they exited the church.

May the force be with you...

View my work at www.boorayperry.com

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Tampa Wedding Photographer Guide

One of the things I always talk about when meeting a client for the first time is the questions you should ask a Tampa Wedding Photographer.

I think that it's easy to come up with the obvious questions about price and time, etc.  But there are many questions about things like insurance and equipment that most people wouldn't think to ask.  These are important things as they could make the difference between great wedding photography and no wedding photography.

I've built a special page so that it's easier to find if you need it.  It's at TampaWeddingPhotographerGuide.com and there's a link on the right side of this page that will stay there all the time.

As always, you can view my work at http://www.boorayperry.com/

Wedding planning on Clearwater beach is easy with Perfect Florida Beach Wedding

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The most annoying thing on television

There's a lot to be annoyed by on television and I'm not talking about plots and reality shows.  I'm talking about all the little things that happen (or don't) only on TV.

Like the way no one ever says "goodbye" before hanging up the phone.  You probably never noticed it before but pay attention when people on TV are on the phone.  They'll just say, "Okay, thanks.." and hang up.

Also, people who live in New York have apartments that are way too big and always find a place to park right in front of the building that they are going to. 

Still, these are minor things compared to the one thing that drives me nuts every time I see it, or actually, hear it, and it's this:

Guns do not make a noise every time you point them at someone.

Every time someone points a gun at someone on TV you hear that "cha-chic" sound.  It's the sound a gun makes when you work the slide and chamber a round and it takes two hands to do it.  Furthermore, the sound implies that the person with the gun didn't bother to make it ready to fire until the last second.  But then, if you have a magic gun that cocks itself, I guess you can wait until the last second.

Shotguns are the worst.  Sometimes they'll point the shotgun at someone and then, to emphasize their point, rack a round into the chamber.  That means that they were pointing an unloaded shotgun.

Tonight on "Lost" there was a scene where everyone was drawing down and swinging the guns around with "cha-chic" sounds going off like crazy.  Then, 30 seconds later when they were about to storm the submarine, everyone cocked their guns again.  So, I guess after the first "magic cocking"  (another great name for a band, btw) they all ejected the clip, ejected the round, placed the round back in the clip and re-inserted the clip.  I don't think so.  I'm pretty sure that when you are fighting for your life against and crazed billionaire and a smoke monster that's in the body of a dead guy who used to be in a wheelchair because his father pushed him out a window after conning him out of a kidney..... you cock the gun the minute you get your hands on it and keep it that way.  But that's just me.

Guns don't make noise when you point them.

How to use bounce flash at a wedding

I wrote an article about bounce flash at weddings for www.photocrati.com a while back.  Now that Photocrati is no longer publishing an active blog, I'm re-posting a few of the articles I wrote here so that they won't be lost for all time.)

I’ve been trying to write about bounce flash at weddings for about an hour now. The problem with explaining bounce flash is that it seems simple at first (just point the flash over your shoulder!) but then there’s a snag … a situation where that doesn’t quite work. So, you talk about the snag, which leads you down another path (diffusers and bounce cards!) … which veers off into some other tangent (shadows and background!) and the next thing you know you’re typing the words “raccoon” and “inverse square law” in the same sentence and you just have to stop.

So, here’s what I’m going to do:  I’m going to post some pictures from a recent wedding and talk about the lighting in each one. Hopefully I will be able to stay on topic. (By the way, I am a wedding photographer in Tampa, FL and no raccoons were harmed in the writing of this article.)

This particular wedding reception was in a small room with low ceilings that were white (mana from heaven for a bounce flash photographer). I was able to shoot with my flash pointed back over my left shoulder most of the night. I think a lot of people tend to believe that you either bounce off a wall or you bounce off the ceiling in front of you. It’s important to realize that you can bounce off the ceiling behind you as well (especially if it’s low). You will typically lose some light, since most of it will bounce to the back of the room but you’ll still get some back from the ceiling, tablecloths, walls, etc.  I had my flash dialed up to +1 most of the night. Could I have taken this shot with a diffuser or direct flash? Sure, but I would have lost contrast in the subject. The reason the dancing man stands out is because the light falls off across his body (notice the shadow on his face).

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Relay for Life event at Oceola High School

Last weekend, my sister participated in a Relay for Life event at Oceola High School in Largo.  If you're not familiar with Relay for Life, it's a huge fund-raising event for The American Cancer Society that takes place every year at schools around the world.  Teams of people raise money and pledge to walk all night around the school track.

My father is a cancer survivor, having recently undergone surgery for colon cancer.

It was my first time attending a Relay event and I was blown away.  I don't know what I expected but I was amazed at the turnout.  Hundreds of people were there and everyone had something to sell (with all proceeds going to the cause).  There were lots of activities for children, plus food and sweets galore. 

Thursday, April 22, 2010

It's the little things....

Someone once said, "It's not what your like that's important, it's what you like."

In other words, we are defined by the things we like more than by our own personality and character.  People may say that they want to know about a person's personality but what they really need to know in order to make an informed decision about a person is whether or not they like football or American Idol or sex with chickens.  This is the reason that I always tell my students to be sure and take pictures of stuff.

(note: "Sex with Chickens" would be a great name for a band..)

Just before Easter, my daughters managed to get their hands on some Silly Bands (or whatever they're called).  If you have young daughters you know what I'm talking about.  They're little rubber bands that take the shape of an animal when you lay them down on a table.  (yet another example of someone getting rich off something I should have created!)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Wedding photography gear. What's in Booray's bag...

 As a wedding and portrait photographer, I use these tools all the time to produce my images.  If you have enjoyed my blog and are looking to buy something from Amazon, clicking on a link below to buy will reward me with a little, tiny, itsy, bitsy commission which I can use to buy more gear!

This package of gels has everything you need to color balance your flash to match the ambient light in a room.  It also has a whole selection of colors so you can get creative with background lighting, etc.  For attaching them to your flash I recommend the B.U.G.

Canon 580EXII Flash
This is the best flash that Canon makes.  It's expensive, but worth the money for two reasons.  First, it has more power and a longer throw than any other flash that Canon sells.  Second, it has a built in infrared transmitter that allows it to work as a wireless transmitter for other Canon flashes.  Canon cameras like the 7d have this built in but 40d's and Rebels don't.  With this flash you can trigger off-camera Canon flashes without buying a wireless transmitter.

Photographers searching for the past

CNN has a great story about a group of photographers who take old photographs and match them with the current location they were taken.  The more you look at the pictures the cooler it gets..

Link to the story

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Bat Mitzvah at Temple Beth-el in St. Petersburg

I had a chance to photograph a Bat Mitzvah at Temple Beth-el in St. Petersburg last week.  Everyone was just wonderful to me the entire time.  The Millers are a great family, two girls just like our family and both as cute as can be.  Rabbi Torop was especially nice while I was photographing the rehearsal.  I always try to make sure that the Rabbi knows how much I appreciate there patience when taking what is, for them, one of thousands of pictures that they have taken of them.

There were so many great shots from the temple and the party that night but I just want to post a few that are personal favorites:

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wedding photography and the zoom lens

If you get a bunch of wedding photographers together in a room (like AA), talk will eventually come around to lenses. A bunch of photographers talking about lenses makes watching paint dry seem glamorous. Everyone has a favorite lens and everyone has a particular style and it can be tough to decide on what your style and lens choices will be. It’s really just trial and error. Eventually, you will find yourself reaching for the same lens again and again and suddenly, before you know it, you have a style!

So, let’s talk about the almighty zoom lens.

Everyone loves the zoom lens. It’s long and sexy and makes you look like you are a PRO, baby!  “Look at my lens! I must know what I’m doing!”  The “photo-journalistic” photographers love the big zoom because it enables them to sit in the back and take pictures without being noticed, because if someone see’s them, the magical veil will be lifted and the unicorn will die (or something like that). The truth is that everyone is a photo-journalistic photographer now. I have yet to meet a single photographer who claims to only show up, take posed pictures, and leave.

But I digress. I was talking about the big zoom…

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Pocket Wizard MiniTT1. It'sd a love/hate thing...

Is it possible to covet something and resent it at the same time?

That's how I feel about the new Pocket Wizard Control TL remote triggers.  Here's the way my brain works:

Pocket Wizard has released new remote triggers that send the TTL signal to your remote flash by radio.  This means that you can place your flash up to 30 ft away from your camera and have it still act as if it's attached to your camera.  In the past the only way to do this was to use a long flash cord or use the Canon built-in infrared remote trigger which requires line-of-sight to work and can has problems in bright sunlight.  In the past if you wanted a radio remote it had to be a dumb-fire device that just triggered the flash with no power management at all (everything was done manual).

Monday, April 5, 2010

New website and new questions

I've just completed a major overhaul of my website

I decided to diversify the site a little and devote exclusive space to Weddings, Bar Mitzvahs and Portraits.  Now, each category has it's own website and it's own unique design and style.  Check it out for yourself.

There are so many competing opinions about photography website design that it's tough to decide what's the best route to take.  Two of the biggest issues for me are "sound and size."

A lot of photographers use websites that automatically open to full-screen size.  I understand the thinking behind this: it makes your images bigger and also has a "cinematic' feel to it.  The problem I have with it is that I personally don't like it when it happens to me.  I resent it when a website hijacks my computer and forces my browser to full-screen ratio.  If I wanted my browser at full-screen, I'd have it there already thank you very much!

The other issue is music.  You may notice that I used to have a song on my website and now I don't.  I would like to say that it's an artistic decision but it actually has more to do with the price of music.  Now that I basically have three websites instead of two I will need to buy two more songs if I want different music on each one.  At $60 a song, that's not cheap.  The real question is wheteher or not clients like the music on the website at all.  I personally know that when I visit a site with music I almost immediatly hit mute, but that's me.  Am I buying music that no one listen's to?

I would appreciate any feedback you can give me on these two issues.  What do you think?  Full-screen? Music?

Monday, March 29, 2010

HDR Wedding Photography

High Dynamic Range photography (HDR) is all the rage nowadays.  So much so that I was reading a blog recently where a photographer was ranting about how sick he is of hearing about it all the time.

Typically, when a photographer wants to take an HDR image they will use a tripod to insure there is no movement whatsoever.  (I sometime hand the camera to one of my children and ask them to clean their room, which also guarantees no movement whatsoever.)  Then the photographer takes somewhere between 3 and 20 exposures of the scene, each one at a different setting so that he ends up with a series of pictures ranging from very dark to very light.

Next, he combines these images using special software (Photoshop has this built in but I think third-party software does a better job.  I use Photomatix Pro).  The software reads the images and attempts to create one image in which every area contains the correct exposure.  (This is my understanding, I didn't right the software).

Friday, March 26, 2010

Booray's Ugly Gels - The B.U.G. Gel Holder

If you are like me and you gel your flash a lot, then you probably get a little frustrated when trying to change gels.  I looked at several gel holders for my flash and the problem that I always ran into was that it took two hands to change a gel which left no hands to hold the camera.  So, I started making B.U.G.s.  Booray's Ugly Gels may not win any prizes for design but they do the job for me better than any other gel holder I have seen.

To see the effect that the B.U.G. has on images, just look at my website.  Almost everything on there was shot using a B.U.G.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Photographer caught stealing other's work

You may have noticed that whenever I post a picture on the internet it has a big "BoorayPerry.com" stamped across the bottom.  You probably think that I do that for advertising purposes and you would be right but that's not the only reason I do it.

As this post will show, there are people out there who don't think twice about stealing your work and claiming it as their own.  Stamping my name on my pictures is just one small attempt to protect my work.  I'll admit though, I never thought that someone would do what this guy is accused of doing.  I always assumed that if someone stole a picture from me it would be for a website but I never thought that a photographer might steal someone's work and claim it as their own for the purpose of attracting clients.  It's one thing to use an image without paying for it but to use the image as a representation of your photography is just blatant fraud.

Let's say you have a website that is all about cars and you grab a great car image from another site to use.  I can maybe understand that some people think that everything on the web is "sharable."  They don't understand that you can't just grab any picture you see online and use it for your own purposes.  But, there is no way that a photographer can claim that they didn't realize that it was wrong to build a photography business web site and populate it with images that were taken by other people. 

As you will read in the thread I linked to above, the photography community dropped the hammer on this guy fast.  You will never see a group of photographers work together more readily than when they discover someone is ripping them off.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The sarcasm gene is alive and well in my offspring

Yesterday, Bobbi made chicken salad from a roast chicken that she bought at Publix.  Homemade chicken salad is one of the best "homemade" things in the world.  You can talk about your "apple pie" all day my friend but it doesn't compare to chicken salad.  Don't get me wrong, I'm an apple pie man through and through but I've had great apple pie in restaurants and out of the box.  Hell, even McDonalds had a killer pie until they ruined it by actually baking it .  However, I have never had a chicken salad that's as good as one made at home, from scratch.  Don't even get me started on the packaged Publix Deli Chicken Salad.  It has celery in it for God's sake. Celery?  What's wrong with you people?

For you youngsters in the audience, McDonalds Apple Pie used to be deep fried, just like the french fries.  They were crispy and hot and delicious and the day that McDonald's stop cooking their pies in a hot oil was a sad day for lovers of all things fried.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Choosing a print to enter in PPA competition

Next month is the 'Main Event" so to speak, for members of the Professional Photographers of America (PPA).  It's the annual print competition.

Each member can submit four images in two categories (8 total).  The categories are "Open Images" which is pretty much anything and "Electronic Images" which is for images that are judged for the photoshop skills involved.

The big question is how do you pick out four images to enter?  The entries can be pretty much anything you have shot.  How do you pick four? (or eight if entering both categories)

The other big question is whether to enter at all.  The problem I have with most print competitions is that there's usually an entry fee.  In this case it's $95.  5000 people paying $95 (more if you aren't a member) and no monetary or physical prize.  Nice gig they have going there.

So, the jury is still out on whether or not I will enter this year.  I do think that if I decide to enter, the picture with this post will be one of my four choices.  It was shot just last week at Sunken Gardens in St. Petersburg for a Bat Mitzvah Guest Book.  I think the composition is good, the exposure is right and the lighting is perfect. Keep in mind that her face is in shade because of the hat.  Her face is actually lit by a flash with a shoot-thru umbrella and a 1/4 CTO gel to camera left.

It may not be dynamic or exciting but I can't take my eyes off it.  That's enough for me. :)

See more of my Tampa and St. Petersburg Bat Mitzvah photography on my website.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Tampa Wedding Photography at Sacred Heart Church

I just deleted a pretty long post I was writing about my wedding last weekend at Sacred Heart Church in Tampa.  I realized that I was trying to squeeze all my favorite pictures from the wedding into the post and it was just getting overloaded.  If you want to see all my favorites from the wedding you can always follow me on Facebook because I like to post a bunch of favorites there for my clients and friends to share. Or, jump to my website and see the entire wedding in the "online ordering" section

I think what I would rather do with my blog is to talk about a few select images and the techniques I used to shoot them.  I find it hard to write long, flowery posts about the images I shoot at a wedding because I always feel that the images do a better job of telling the story than my mediocre narrative.  So, to see the whole wedding, go to my website, click "online ordering" and look for Adam and Marisol in the "Weddings and Events" section.

This image was taken outside the church right before my couple bolted for the limousine.  I was working pretty fast so I didn't have time for a tripod and I had to shoot at 1/30 and iso 1600.  (This was shot at night, it wasn't knocked down in the camera.)  The backlight is a Canon 580EX with a radio trigger being held by my assistant who is crouched down as small as she can get!

I've got a lot of images to talk about from this wedding but I wanted to start with this one because it's unique.  You can't do it without a big cathedral!

See all my work at http://www.boorayperry.com/

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Booray's Better Pictures Class Starting Soon!

Designed for the Soccer Mom and Hobbyiest Dad!
Back by popular demand, it's time for a new series of classes for the beginning photographer!

There are 4 classes in all and they are designed for people who have nice DSLR's (Like the Canon Rebel series, for example).  So many people buy these cameras because they want to take better pictures but then find themselves overwhelmed by all the buttons, dials and technical wizardry.

I'll teach you how photography works so that you can understand any camera that you pick up.  You'll learn about composition and the elements that make a photograph truly good.  We'll also cover "tricks of the trade" that you can use to do things like freezing motion at sporting events or making the background all blurry when shooting portraits. 

I only take 6 students for the classes and I have sold out every time I do the series.  If you are interested, contact me right away to reserve your spot. 

You can sign up immediatly online right here.

Class is on Sundays at 1:00 and runs about 2 hours.  There are 4 classes in all and the dates are:
3/28, 4/11, 4/18, 4/25

CDS pictures on TBO.com

My photographs of "Beauty and the Beast" taken at Carrollwood Day School are being featured on TBO.com

Monday, March 15, 2010

Yea, but Zeppelin 4 rocked!

If you're one of those people who still claims that vinyl records sound better than digital, take a look at just how "smooth" a record groove is when photographed and magnified 1000 times...