Wednesday, December 28, 2011

St. Paul's and Rusty Pelican Wedding - Lauren and Scott

I recently had the priveledge of photographing Lauren and Scott's wedding.  The wedding was held at St. Paul Catholic Church on Dale Mabry in Tampa nd the reception was at The Rusty Pelican.  Below are some of my favorite images from the wedding:

Click on any of the images below to see full-size!

The theme for the wedding was "Vintage."  We created a special photo Guest Book for the couple that included pictures from their ancestor's weddings.  This is the cover.

Since the wedding had a vintage theme, Lauren asked if we could print the Photo Booth pictures in sepia-tone.  Of course!

Don't settle for a bad headshot on your website or social media pages. Get the best professional headshot in Tampa bay..

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Why Do Digital Files Cost So Much?

I just got off the phone with a client who wanted a photo shoot at the beach and all the images on disc, full-size and hi-rez, with a release of copyright so she could print them or post them online.

She was surprised at the cost.

So, I thought this might be a good time to explain how digital files are priced.  Let the questions begin!

Why are digital images so expensive?
Actually, they're not.  They just seem expensive because you are buying so many of them.  First, let's talk about how photographers make their money;

Most photographers charge very little for a photo session.  Their goal is to take such amazing pictures of you and your family that you will want to buy a lot of prints, wall art, or digital files.  It's a gamble every time.  We don't know how much money we will make from a client until they come see their images.

We like to offer a lot of different product so that we can make our clients happy (and make more money, of course). But here's the problem;  Most of these products can now be purchased online or at a local store.  So, when a client buys a digital image, it's very rare that they will buy anything else.  For example, we used to sell a ton of wallets but now most people don't send them to family anymore.  They just put the picture on Facebook.

What are digital images so expensive?  Because you are buying the whole cow.  I had a client who wanted to buy her digital images so she could make a guest book.  Well, I sell guest books.  So you can bet that I'm going to charge you at least as much as I would for a guest book, especially when you consider that you can use the images for so much more (prints, slide show, post online, "Thank You" cards, etc.)

Imagine going to McDonalds and asking for all the ingredients to make 30 cheeseburgers, already cooked, because you wanted to put the cheeseburgers together yourself.  Would you expect to pay less than the normal cheeseburger price?  Now, imagine they gave you the ingredients to make 30 cheeseburgers as well as hundreds of other types of burgers.  Less than the cost of 30 cheeseburgers, or more?

I started by saying that digital images aren't actually that expensive for what you get so let me put that into perspective.  If you were to buy 35 4x6 prints from me it would cost more than buying 35 digital images.  With the digital images you can do anything you want.  That's a great deal.

But I know a guy who will shoot a portrait session and give me a disc of images for X amount.  Why don't you do that?
The real question is:  Why don't you use that guy for your portraits?  I think we both know the answer.

You can buy a Kia or a Ford or a Lexus or a Mercedes.  Only you can decide which is right for you but don't expect the Mercedes to cost the same as the Kia.  (By the way, I'm not the Mercedes.  I know photographers who charge a lot more than me for their digital images and some who refuse to sell them at all.)

Well, I hope that I have shed a little light on why digital images cost what they do.  Just remember:  When you get everything on disc you are getting everything.  It's going to cost more than a few prints.

Don't settle for a bad headshot on your website or social media pages. Get the best professional headshot in Tampa bay..

Wedding at Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg

I thought it might be nice to start posting "Idea Boards" from some of my weddings.  Just a collection of some of the style elements from an event so brides can get ideas.

This wedding was held at Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg:

Click the image to see it full size.

Don't settle for a bad headshot on your website or social media pages. Get the best professional headshot in Tampa bay..

Friday, November 18, 2011

Trevor and Jillian at Hyatt Clearwater Beach

I just finished a wedding album for Trevor and Jillian who were married at The Hyatt, Clearwater Beach.  They decided not to do some of the traditional things at their wedding (garter toss, bouquet toss) which meant there was more room in the album.  So they filled it with their favorite pictures from The Vogue Booth ( Tampa's best Photobooth )!

It was a great wedding and a real privilege to be a part!

For more Clearwater Beach Wedding Photography, visit my website...

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Wedding Pictures and Retouching

One of the things that can be confusing when you start searching for a wedding photographer here in Tampa Bay is the level of "retouching" that will be done to your images.

The problem is that "retouching" can mean different things to different people.  It's hard to know exactly what a person means when they say that they "retouch" your images.  It's a little like someone saying that they are going to paint a room.  Are they going to paint it all one color with a spray can?  Are they going to faux-paint with sponges and special applicators?  Will they being doing something in between those two extremes?

I can't speak for every photographer in town but I can tell you what I do and what I call it... so that you will at least understand what to expect from me.

But first, some technical mumbo-jumbo that will help you understand the process:

Professional photographers shoot in a format called RAW.  Your pocket sized, point-and-shoot camera shoots in a format called .JPG. So does your phone.

What's the difference?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Bridal Show Booth

We just finished our first Bridal Show.  It was the Tampa Bridal Showcase at A La Carte Pavilion.

You might be asking yourself, "I wonder why Booray has never done a bridal show before?"  (you probably aren't but for the purposes of this blog post, let's pretend that you are.).

The truth is that it takes a lot of work to build a booth.  You don't have to build a booth... they provide a table and chairs... but I'm of the opinion that you should "go large or go home" so I always knew that I would only do a show if I could build a nice booth.

So, that's what we did.

It took about a week to plan it out and put it together.  Most of that time was the painting and I have my fantastic wife to thank for that part.  I used un-finished doors for the walls and furniture from my house to fill it out.  My goal was to have a booth that didn't have anything that was a "trade show" item.  No big table, white tablecloth, event chairs, etc. When we were all done, it was pretty nice!

After the show I imediatly made changes to the booth.  Less furniture and more table space for album viewing.  Watching everyone else break-down their space in 10 minutes was a little depressing.

The show seemed fairly busy... not a crush of people but a constant stream.  There were a lot of photographers.  Someone told me they counted nine of us in all.

Two former brides, Jessica and Tabitha, came and worked the booth with me.  In my wildest dreams I could not have asked for better help.  They were fantastic to the point that I was embarassed to be standing there whenever I could hear them talking about me.

Will it get me business?  I have no idea.  With nine photographers in the hall, I imagine that there was a wide range of prices and styles for the brides to consider.  I'm not a high-end price but I'm not discount either.  The real test of this show, for me, will be learning what kind of brides go to these shows.  If it's bargain shoppers than I won't get much from it.  There is always someone who is willing to shoot for less.  I like to believe that I offer the best value of price/quality. 

I did get a few emails right after the show but they were all of the, "Send me a price list," variety. If you see your wedding photographer as just another person on your check-list that needs to be hired than I'm not the guy for you.  My brides tend to ask direct questions about lighting and style because they have thought about what they want and it's important to them.

So, we'll see!  If I get a client or two from the show then I'll be happy.  If I get five I'll be ecstatic.

Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Booray Perry's website is here.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

Last night was the monthly meeting of TAPPA (Tampa Area Professional Photographers Association) and I entered three prints in the monthly competition.

This image won 2nd place in the "Un-categorized" category:

This image won 1st place in the "Weddings and Events" category:

... and this image won 2nd place in the same category:

What's funny is that I thought that the couple kissing was my best shot at first place.  I included the image of the shoes because I really like it and was hoping it might get third.  Instead, the members of the guild decided that they like the shoe image best of all!  I didn't even vote for that image (you only cast one vote.)!

I'm not saying that the shoe image isn't good.  I love that image.  I wrote an entire blog post about that image.  I just didn't think that anyone else would love it as much as I do.  :)

I've been entering images into the monthly contests for a few months now and I still have no idea what the other members will pick.  It's actually kind of cool because every month is a surprise.

Don't settle for a bad headshot on your website or social media pages. Get the best professional headshot in Tampa bay..

Monday, August 15, 2011

Panel Discussion at T.A.P.P.A.

At last month's meeting of T.A.P.P.A., we dispensed with the usual format of having a speaker and instead conducted a panel discussion.  A panel discussion is when several people take the stage and answer questions from the audience.

Imagine my surprise when I was asked to be on the panel.

First of all, I haven't been a member of TAPPA for that long, less than a year I think.  Several members of the panel were past presidents and one member pretty much founded the whole guild.  The second reason I was surprised to be asked is that I have never asked to be a part of anything like that in the past.  They asked me to participate and field any questions about social media that came along but I ended up talking about everything under the sun because I'm the type of person who wants to say something about everything!

There were a lot of different questions from the new photographers in attendance.  The biggest one was probably the, "Do you sell digital files" question.  Always a hot topic, it was interesting to hear how the rest of the panel handled this subject with their clients (all sell digital files).

I used the opportunity to ask a question myself and got a surprising answer.  My question was, "What do you consider to be the minimum number of lights necessary for a studio portrait session?"  The answers ranged from 1-5.  Further proof that there are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to photography.

As it happenned, one of the other photographers on the panel wore the exact same shirt as me that night.  We had to sit at opposite ends of the panel.  We looked like bookends.

On another note, I managed to place a two prints in the print competition.  1st place in Events and 2nd place in Portraits.  I wrote about that here.

I really enjoy talking to fellow photographers.  It's a little one-sided sometimes as I am a very outgoing personality and many photographers are more introverted.  Also, everyone has an opinion and we don't always agree (as it is with all art forms) but I always look to learn something from everyone.  I've found that if you approach each person as a learning opportunity you will almost always discover something, even a small thing, that you can use to improve your work.  Sometimes it's just the satisfaction of discovering that someone else does things the same way that you do.

Booray Perry is a Tampa Bay Portrait Photographer.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Living with the hams...

Last night I was training a new intern on how to set-up the Vogue Booth ( ).  Naturally, it works better if you have someone to photograph so I grabbed my girls (like I always do) and made them stand for us. 

They proceeded to put on hats and glasses, etc, and have a good time when Mackie suddenly ran to her room.

When she returned, she grabbed two props from the table and jumped in front of the camera for a quick shot:

I crack up everytime I see this picture.  I understand going and getting the doll from her room but actually going to the trouble of getting a moustache for the doll?  Pure comic genius!

Sam (who's older) is an old master at posing for the booth and has no problem hamming-it-up for the camera:

I love my girls!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Feedback Needed Please!

I'm an idea man.  I got ideas coming at me all day... I couldn't even fight 'em off if I wanted.  (that's a quote from one of my favorite movies of all time...)

I was thinking the other day that I would like to do an event where I could meet people and possibly have some beer and pizza at the same time.  Who doesn't like beer, pizza and meeting people?

So, I'm going to run this idea by my ever faithful Facebook fans and see what they think because if there's one thing I've learned it's that my fans will speak up when asked.

What if I hosted a "Facebook Foto Night?"

I put the word out on Facebook that I will be taking great, professional headshots for your profile picture at a local watering hole (lights, backdrop, the whole deal).  No charge.  Just show up, get your picture taken and maybe have a beer and socialize a bit.  A few days later I post the images on Facebook and everyone can grab them for their profile picture. 

Do you think that my fans would show up for a free picture?  Would they bring a friend?  Are people willing to get off the couch for a great headshot and some beer?

That's my question to the faithful.  If I get enough people saying, "Yea, I'd show up!"  Then I'll set the whole thing up.  If everyone thinks it's a stupid idea then I'll pretend it was someone else's.  I have ideas like this all the time but never know if they're any good.

What do you think?  Feel free to post a comment on Facebook or here on the blog....


Headshots by Booray Perry Photography

Monday, August 8, 2011

Siesta Key Wedding Beach Photography

Last week we did something very rare here at Booray Perry Photography:  We went on vacation.  Our business is the sort that doesn't allow for much vacation time.  People get married all the time and so we usually only manage a day or two off every now and then.

Last week we took a whole week off and went to the beach with the girls.  It wasn't a complete vacation because I did manage to sneak one small wedding in on Thursday in Siesta Key.

Siesta Key is known for some of the best beaches in the world.  I didn't get a chance to see too many of them as I was only there for a couple of hours but what I did see was great.  Where we were there was a sea wall which I fell in love with.  We were also blessed with the best sunset of the entire week!

Angie and Lee came down for a few days to get married and have a small honeymoon before the school year begins (Angie is a teacher).  The wedding was short and simple with just the two of them, the officiante and me.  After, I had them for over an hour, all to myself and we got fantastic beach wedding pictures.

Siesta Key is beautiful and I would love to go back soon to work or play!

See more Siesta Key Beach Wedding photography at