Thursday, December 20, 2012

My Awesome Blogging Skills Revealed!

I'll admit it, I'm the worst when it comes to blogging my weddings. My photographer friends here in Tampa seem to be so good at getting a bunch of pictures from their wedding on to their blog as quickly as possible. For me, it seems like there's always one other thing on my list that I need to do before I can finally get around to updating the blog. :-)

Luckily, every so often, I get a great reminder from a client like Jessica. Jessica lives in California and came all the way here to Tampa to get married. She just received her wedding album in the mail today and she wrote me an email to tell me how much she loved it. It was a great reminder to me to be sure and put some pictures from her wedding on my blog so everyone can see them. (… Did you notice how I managed to sneak in a little complement to me in this paragraph?)

Jessica and Matt were married on the beach in what might have been the windiest beach wedding I shot all year. No matter, they were great sports about the weather and had a fantastic wedding. It was a real joy working with them.

Here are a few of my favorite images from the wedding:

But wait, I'm not going to post images from the wedding. I have to laugh at myself because as I was writing this blog and preparing to post these images while complaining that I never update my blog, I realized that I'd actually already posted Jessica and Matt's entire album onto the blog. It's three posts before this one. LOL

My blogging skills leave a lot to be desired.

Wedding Photography and The Cell-Phone Face

There's a new trend that I've been witnessing at weddings in the last year or so. It's one of those things that you see happening and you realize that there's nothing you can do about it. It's going to keep happening, it's going to get worse, and there's nothing we can do to stop it. Still, I think it's interesting so I wanted to take a few minutes to point it out.

I don't want you to think that I'm complaining or being whiny... not because I'm not capable of being complaining and whining… Oh yes, I'm very capable… But rather because, as I said, I don't really think there's anything that can be done about this problem. I also think that it's the sort of thing that only wedding photographers really notice so it might be interesting to folks who don't see weddings the way that we do.  :)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Tampa Wedding and Social Event Photographer of the Year

Last night was the holiday party for T.A.P.P.A. (Tampa Area Professional Photographers Association).  The great thing about holiday parties is that it gives everyone an excuse to dress up.  Also, there's a bar.

Every year, someone in the association is named "Photographer of the Year."  The criteria has changed a little over the years.  It used to be that the honor was based on who won the most ribbons in print competitions throughout the year but now they also award points for service to the guild.  It's a good system because you can't "win" just by winning print competitions and you can't "win" just by serving on the board or chairing a committee... you have to do both.  I like that it's given to photographers who win competitions but also give their time to servicing the guild.

This year we actually had a tie for 1st place so we had two "Photographers of the Year."  Great guys who well deserved the honor.

What came as a surprise was that they also gave out plaques for the most points in each individual category of print competition.  There are  five categories (Wedding and Events, Portraits, Electronic Imaging, Commercial and Uncategorized).  I didn't realize that they gave plaques for each category so it was a pleasant surprise when I won the "Event" category. :)

I got a little plaque and everything!

Booray Perry is a wedding photographer in Tampa Bay.  See his work here
The best beach weddings in Florida are by Perfect Florida Beach Wedding

Friday, November 30, 2012

Wedding on St. Pete Beach

Jessica and Matt were married on the beach in St. Petersburg.  What a great couple!  They flew all the way from California to get married here with their family in attendance.  They even had the reception outside at the beach as well!

I photograph a lot of small, beach weddings in addition to the typical large affairs.  One of the things that smaller, more budget conscious brides tend to leave out is a wedding album.  Jessica and Matt decided to preserve their day with our full-size, custom leather album!  Here's what it looks like:

Click on any image to enlarge

This is the opening page of the album but I just want to point out that those wedding rings are engraved with their fingerprints.  How cool is that?

Ceremony and reception were provided by Perfect Florida Beach Wedding.
Beach wedding photography by Booray Perry Photography

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Wedding at Kapok Clearwater

Still resting from the big wedding yesterday but I wanted to get a couple of pictures up right away for the Bride and Groom!  Fantastic wedding at Kapok Special Events.

This shot was actually taken at Safety Harbor Spa and Resort...

Booray Perry is an award-winning wedding photographer in Tampa Florida.
Getting married on the beach?  Here's how to have the Perfect Florida Beach Wedding!
Nothing makes a party more fun than The Vogue Booth.  Tampa's Best Photobooth!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Tampa Bar Mitzvah featured..

I just got word that a Bar Mitzvah I photographed is being featured on "Hostess with the Mostess."  here's the link:

See more of my Bar Mitzvah photography work at

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Don Vincente Wedding in Ybor

I had the honor of photographing Robyn and Joe's wedding at the Don Vincente in Ybor recently.  If you've never been to the Don Vincente, it's a great hotel. There's nothing we photographers love more than texture and "feel" in a location and the Don Vincente has it all.  The rooms have great furniture, the staircase is awesome and of course you have all of downtown Ybor to play with when it comes to shooting great pictures of the bride and groom.

I took so many great images that day but here are a few select favorites:

The wedding had a "masquerade" theme. Everyone had masks!

The rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows which makes for great light.  One of the secrets to getting dynamic black and white images is to have good natural light.

Robyn had a perfect dress and the "birdcage" veil was just the right "old-world" touch to blend with the classic hotel.

LOVE the staircase!

The Don Vincente is the only wedding venue where the guests sit on couches and big chairs.  :)

The wedding party "in character."  :)

There are so many nooks and crannies tucked away at the inn.  I could shoot there every week...

Booray Perry is an award-winning wedding photographer in Tampa Florida.
Getting married on the beach?  Here's how to have the Perfect Florida Beach Wedding!
Nothing makes a party more fun than The Vogue Booth.  Tampa's Best Photobooth!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Rewards

Last week I heard through the grapevine that a man I know had passed away.  He had been sick for a long time and finally it caught up with him.

His illness had reached the point where he needed to go into hospice care.  He packed light, not taking much with him as he left the house for the last time.  On the way out the door, his wife asked him if he was sure there wasn't anything else he wanted to take with him.  He stopped, turned around and went back in, emerging with a photograph of himself and his grandson.

I shot that picture.

A few months back the family hired me to take some portraits.  We decided to do the session in their home for convenience.  In addition to a collection of posed family portraits, I also took some candid shots.  One of those shots was purchased and framed and eventually carried to hospice.

I meet a lot of people who want to be photographers.  Many of them ask for my help and I try to teach them what I've learned.  Most fall away soon after realizing that there is a big difference between photography as a hobby and photography as a job.  The commitment and training required to do it for a living is usually far beyond what most people are expecting. (this is especially true of wedding photography)

But the rewards can be great. 

I've had the biggest hugs from brides when they see their wedding images.  I've had a grandmother leave the room because she was overwhelmed by pictures of her grandchildren.  I've had a dying man take my picture with him to his final destination in this life.

The rewards can be great indeed.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Should the Groom See the Bride Before the Wedding?

More and more, you see wedding photographers who are encouraging the bride and groom to see each other on their wedding day, before the actual ceremony.  Here in Tampa Bay we get a fair amount of couples who meet before the ceremony, often because it's hard to avoid if they are getting married on the beach.

I always encourage my clients to do a "reveal" before the ceremony.  Most decline because they want to preserve the surprise for the walk down the aisle.  I don't push it at all... I don't really care much either way.  What's important is that the couple are happy with their decision.  I'm not unhappy if they don't want to do it.

That being said, I'm now going to tell you why you should do a reveal before the wedding. 

Think about it:  You want your husband to see you in that dress and be knocked out.  You want him to have an emotional reaction and you want to see it and share it. So, you reveal yourself to him in your dress for the first time, 50 feet away in a room full of people who are standing and staring at you both, with your father walking next to you!  Your husband will be having an emotional reaction but he will be fighting it with everything he's got because he's being stared at by 150 people and your Dad!  No man wants to start crying in front of his father-in-law. If he does have an emotional reaction, you can't see it because you're in the back of the room.  Add to that the fact that both of you are trying to concentrate on the ceremony (so complex that it requires a full-rehearsal) and you realize that there is a very special moment here that is being shoved aside for other concerns.

Allow your husband to see you in your dress for the first time in a setting where he can truly take it in and relish the moment.  He wants to hold you... he wants to kiss you... he wants to tell you how beautiful you look.  He can't do any of that during the ceremony.  He has to wait until it's all over to tell you how incredible you look and by then the rush of the moment is gone.

Let me make it easy for you.  If a man is going to propose to you, would you rather he do it in an intimate setting with just the two of you or on the Jumbo-tron at a ballgame?  My guess is that you picked the intimate setting.  It's hard to be "in the moment" with 50,000 people staring at you.

Do a "reveal."  Allow yourself to have a special, intimate moment before the wedding that is yours and yours alone.  Then, go do the ceremony as a team.  You'll both be more relaxed and confident.  Don't worry, there are still 150 people who are going to gasp and cry when you appear.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention, you also get great pictures.  :)

Booray Perry is a great wedding photographer with a funny name who works in Tampa Bay, FL.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wedding Photography Win in Tampa

Well.... not exactly.

Last night was the monthly meeting of T.A.P.P.A., the Tampa Area Professional Photographers Association and, as usual, I entered three images in the print competition.  I entered in the "Weddings and Social" Category.

I won 1st, 2nd and 3rd place!  Woo-Hoo!

The only problem is that I was the only person who entered this month.  :)

I just don't feel right bragging about a sweep when it was a lock from the start so I'm coming clean on this one!

However, it did afford me the chance to see how my images stack up against each other.  I often find that other photographers rate my images in a different order than I do so I purposely entered three distinctly different images to see if they would rank in the order that I would put them in.

They did.

Here they are: 1st, 2nd and 3rd!

Still an educational night for me.  Chuck Vosbergh, a great photographer, told me that he voted for #2 because he liked the motion and energy.  I'm always happy to hear what other photographers think about my images.

I also wonder about image #3 and wonder if it would have ranked higher if I had included the original image before being retouched.  There is actually a strobe sitting on a tripod right in front of the couple, providing the light.  I think that most people assume that the light on the couple is from the sun.  Would someone rank that image higher if they knew that it required a strobe that was then removed with Photoshop?  Is a picture "better" if it's harder to do?  I don't know but it's a good question...

The Florida Professional Photographers Association has voted to accept a new member designation, "Non-Professional Photographer."  In the past, to be a member in the guild you had to have a business license.  They are now moving toward letting photographers join who are pure hobby shooters.  I think it's a good idea.  I meet people all the time who are passionate about photography but don't want to get a business license just so they can join the guild.  These are people who would benefit enormously from the programs that we offer and the mentoring of professionals who are available to teach them how to excel at their hobby.  It will be nice to be able to bring some of these people into the guild.  Imagine being someone who loves photography and who can now sit down and have dinner with a table full of professionals every month and ask questions about technique, lighting, etc...

Booray Perry is an award-winning wedding photographer in Tampa Florida.
Getting married on the beach?  Here's how to have the Perfect Florida Beach Wedding!
Nothing makes a party more fun than The Vogue Booth.  Tampa's Best Photobooth!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

T.A.P.P.A. Meeting Print Competition

Last night was the monthly meeting of the Tampa Area Professional Photographers Association and I entered three images in the print competition.

This image won 1st place in the "Portrait" category:

This image won 2nd place in the "Portraits" category:

This image won 2nd place in the "Weddings and Events" category:

Unfortunately, the meeting was cut short before we could have our presentation because the entire city block lost power!  Still, we got to socialize and eat so it was still a good time.  :)

Wedding photographer in Tampa Florida
Getting married on the beach?  Here's how to have the Perfect Florida Beach Wedding!
Nothing makes a party more fun than The Vogue Booth.  Tampa's Best Photobooth!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Four Types of Light

Kristen and Shawn were married at Mirror Lake Lyceum in St. Petersburg and during the course of the day I managed to use four different kinds of lighting. Naturally, I think that I rock all four types but my point is not so much to make myself look good but to help you see light in a different way.  There are many photographers in Tampa Bay who can do what I do and the first step towards finding the right one for you is understanding a little about how they use light.

1. Natural Light
Every photographer learns early how to place someone in front of a window to get good light.  What I like to see is someone who uses natural light in a more artistic way than just lighting the face.  A big, natural light source can provide something that our flashes and umbrellas can't.  The trick is to be able to recognize it when you see it and use it to your advantage. 

I'll be honest, there was a time when I didn't see light the way I do now.  I used to think only in terms of how I could use light to illuminate my subjects.  I started getting more creative when I started seeing that light could also be a way to isolate my subjects.

2. Off-Camera Light
I've written about this many times.  Any photographer who uses OCL will tell you that it is a game-changer.  Having the right equipment and knowing how to see a scene and light it quickly is huge when you only have a few minutes with your bride and groom.

For this image, you need to first be able to see the composition in advance and know how to frame it.  Do you zoom in close or shoot wide?  Stand straight or crouch?  Then... where does the light go, how do I pose the couple for maximum impact and finally, how do I set up the camera and the light so that I see everything the way I want it to be seen?  I conceived, posed, set-up and shot this image in under 2 minutes.  That's all the time I had...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

T.A.P.P.A. Print Competition

I'm falling behind on my blog posting and I apologize for that.  I have a list of blog topics that I've been wanting to write about but we've just been so busy the last two months that I haven't had time.  I promise more is coming, including a new review of Lumapix FotoFusion software, which I consider to be essential to what I do.

So, without further ado, here are two more T.A.P.P.A. winners from this month:

I won 1st Place in the Weddings and Events category this month with my cute little starfish...

I won 3rd place with this couple portrait.

As is always the case, I have no idea what will get picked by my fellow photographers.  I'm always excited to place and frequently surprised when I do..  :)

Monday, July 2, 2012

How not to use a diffuser or Omnibounce...

Yesterday I was shooting a beach wedding and there were two other photographers working nearby.  Whenever I see another photographer, I can usually figure out where their skill level is at within a few seconds.  The one thing that is an instant tip-off is the way they use light motifiers when shooting outdoors.

Now, I know that a lot of folks who read my blog aren't photographers so I'm going to try to explain this in laymen's terms...

There is a light modifier called an Omni-Bounce.  It's a little white plastic cap that fits over the end of your flash.  Here's one for sale on Amazon.  I think that some Nikon flashes come with a free one.

The purpose of this little cap is to take the light that is shooting out from the flash and  make it go off in every direction.  The light hits the plastic and basically turns it into a lamp that shoots light everywhere, instead of just straight ahead.  The light then "bounces" off all the surface in the room (walls, ceilings, etc) and fills the room with light.  This is where the "bounce" comes from in the name.

When taking pictures outdoors, there are no walls or ceiling.  So, if you put an Omni-Bounce on your flash, all it does is take some of the light and divert it away from your subject where it is lost forever because there is nothing out there to bounce off.  Because you have "stolen" some of the light, the flash has to produce more light than usual to light the subject.  Sometime twice as much.  When you are working outdoors in bright sun, you are frequently squeezing every bit of power out of your flash because the shadows are so dark that you have to overcome.  The last thing you want to do is cut the flash's power in half.

Yet, I see photographers shooting outdoors with these diffusers all the time.

It wouldn't be so bad except that the internet is full of posts just like this one:  Professional photographers begging people to at least read the directions on the thing! 

Here, let me show you.  One of these picture was taken with the flash pointed at the subject and the other with an Omni-Bounce:

See the difference? No?  My point exactly.

But wait!  There's more!

Not only do I see people using these diffusers when they are outside, but (this is the best part) they use them wrong when they are inside!

Allow me to explain:

The Omni-Bounce and it's bretheren are designed to bounce light primarily off the ceiling, with the rest of the light bouncing around the room.  Some is also thrown forward.  If you read the directions it clearly tells you that your flash should be tilted at a 45 degree angle.  I see people with their flash pointed straight at the subject, with an Omni-Bounce, all the time.

These diffusers are good for one thing only:  Tilt your flash at 45 degrees, be indoors where there are surfaces to bounce the light, and you will get a wider, flatter light from your flash.  Outdoors they do nothing but reduce the power of your flash.

I own one but only use it with off-camera lighting when I want to light a room.  I never use it on my on-camera flash because it's never as good as true bounce flash, which is more directional and pleasing (I'm losing the non-photographers here... sorry  ).

I'm not saying you have to learn to use off-camera lighting, etc., to be a photographer but please stop using these indoor tools outdoors.  It makes you look like someone who doesn't care about their work.  If you've been a photographer for less than 6 months, fine but after that you should have learned how to use the thing properly.  There is no tool in photography that is an all-purpose, good no matter where you are, thing.  You have to study and train constantly to get the best results from the tools you have.  Start by learning how light works.

End of rant.  :)

Booray Perry is an award-winning wedding photographer in Tampa Florida.
Getting married on the beach?  Here's how to have the Perfect Florida Beach Wedding!
Nothing makes a party more fun than The Vogue Booth.  Tampa's Best Photobooth!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Tampa Dance Pictures 2012

Tonight is the big dance recital for Karl & DiMarco Dance.  Last night we were at the theater for seven hours for dress rehearsal.  I was able to snap a few pictures of the Senior Dancers during the rehearsal (as well as about 200 pictures of my two daughters!  They're on Facebook...).  Here are a few of my favorites:

Tonight's the big show and I have to go get dressed so it's a quick blog post!  No camera's allowed during the performance so I get to relax for a change!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tampa Dance Pictures at Karl and DiMarco Dance

I have two daughters and they are both dancers.  It started four years ago when they were just babies and now it's to the point that we spend most of our lives at the studio, at competitions, at recital... or at the store buying tights, shoes, etc.  :)

The first year that we joined dance, Sandy Karl, the owner, asked me if I would take over as photographer for the school.  There are photographers who market to the dance schools but I'm not really one of them.  However, I was happy to say yes because it would be a welcome break from my usual busy wedding and event schedule.

It's been four years now and I'm so glad I decided to take it on.  Every year I see a new crop of tots coming into dance for the first time with their little costumes.  Every year I see the older girls getting older and growing up before my eyes.

The Senior Company girls all know me by name as I have been photographing them since they were pre-teens.  Every year I try to remember to jump into a picture with the girls so I have a great momento of my time at the studio.  The girls are great about posing for me and giving there all for the camera!

I couldn't ask for a nicer group of girls.  It's always a pleasure to photograph them!

Booray Perry is an award-winning wedding photographer in Tampa Florida.
Getting married on the beach?  Here's how to have the Perfect Florida Beach Wedding!
Nothing makes a party more fun than The Vogue Booth.  Tampa's Best Photobooth!