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 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

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 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

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 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).