Friday, September 5, 2008

Special Offers

One of the main goals this summer was a complete makeover for the company. This included a complete revamp of the website, as well as the studio spaces. Well, the studio space is done, but the website portion is still not complete. In order to complete the makeover, I really want to use as many new and fresh images in the portfolio galleries as possible. To make that a reality, I've decided to offer some discounts on certain items.

First the disclaimer information:

  • Participants in this discount program understand that their images will be used for promotional items of Brian Downer Photography. This includes the website, and additional promotional materials.
  • These discounts apply to current product offerings available from Brian Downer Photography.
  • All sessions need to be completed by 10/31/08.

Not too bad, or hard to accept I would hope. So, now here is what we are offering.

  • No session fee for any Children's portraits, Senior portraits, Maternity portraits, Engagement portraits.
  • If you wish to purchase directly from the A' La Carte menu, rather than a package, you still receive a waived session fee, and a 10% discount on A' La Carte items.
  • If you purchase a package, the package price will be reduced by $125, and you will receive a 30% discount if you wish to purchase additional items from the A' La Carte menu beyond what is included in the package.

Depending on the packages purchased, additional items will be added to the package:

Pearl Package- Free 8x10 print.

Emerald Package- Free 8x10 print, or free 11x14 print.

Diamond Package- Free 16x20 collage, or free 11x14 print.

Milano Package- Free 11x14 print and 6 free 4x6 prints.

Venezia Package- 10 free 4x6 prints and 2 free 5x7 prints.

Firenze Package- Free 16x20 collage, and 10 free 4x6 prints.

For example, if you wanted to purchase the Emerald Package, which is normally $670, you would only pay $545, plus receive either a free 8x10 or 11x14. If you purchased any additional items from the A' La Carte menu, they would receive an automatic 30% discount on those items.

This special goes into effect immediately. Feel free to give us a call at (480)247-0885 or email at to book your session. Hurry and book your session today.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Great Pics! What camera do you use?

As a photographer, that is one comment I hear pretty much every time I display my pictures. Lately, it seems that question is getting asked about 4 or more times a day. So, for those curious, I'll list the gear I use.

Main camera body:
Canon 5D. Yup, that is right. I'm using an older digital body. The main reason that I continue to use this camera is because it gives me everything I need. I could go out an buy the newer Canon 1D series, or switch to Nikon, but I've given up chasing megapixels or the latest body release. I find that good technique far outweighs having the latest camera.

Backup camera body:
Canon 20D. I bought this body back in 2005, and it served as my main camera for a couple years. It has done an exceptional job, and in fact some of my gallery images were taken with this camera. It has since been surpassed with the 30D, 40D, and the new 50D from Canon, but I don't intend to upgrade.

Canon 24-70 2.8L
Canon 85 1.2L
Canon 70-200 F4L

Lenses are where you will see a great return on your investment. I have chosen to go with only the L lenses because they are the best. Differences between camera bodies isn't normally that significant, but differences between good and great lenses are huge!

Studio strobes:
Hensel Integra Pro Plus. I love Hensel strobes. They give off such a beautiful light. They are not cheap by any stretch of the imagination, but are well worth every penny. They are extremely consistent with power output, and color temperature. I also think they give a beautiful enhancement to most skin colors. Had I not gone with Hensel, I probably would have chosen Elinchrom, or Profoto, and been just as happy.

Light modifiers:
I primarily use softboxes instead of umbrellas. I like having the ability to control the light better, and I think the light is more flattering for portraits as well. I use both Hensel and Photoflex softboxes. I plan on picking up some octoboxes as well, and maybe I'll try out the Chimera.

When I'm not using softboxes, I will use a standard 7" or 5" reflector with grids, various snoots, and such, but it is strictly dependent upon the look I want.

Studio Muslin:
Silverlake. I've got probably 8 or 9 Silverlake muslin backdrops. I love these drops for fine art portraits. One day, I'll break down and get a Maheu to add to the inventory.

Well, there you have it. That is a list of the main gear I use. I'm not going to bother to list out everything, as there is just too much stuff (light stands, white balance cards, etc).

Now that I've listed the gear I use, I'll tell you the most important thing: Use the right equipment to support your vision. The image isn't made by the camera, it is made by the photographer. The camera can't pose the subject, direct the lights, and take the picture. The photographer has to do that. The camera only captures the image that the photographer has already created within the scene. Stunning pictures aren't because of the equipment, and that is the reason why I giving a passing yawn to announcement of new cameras being released. I could use Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fuji, or nearly any other manufacturer, and get pretty much the same results. The key is being able to understand how your camera sees the scene you have created, and use the controls on the camera so that it can take the picture you already see in your mind. It is similar to giving credit to the shoes an Olympic runner wears when setting a world record, and not understanding that it is the skill and effort on the runners part to achieve their goal. The equipment just supports them.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

New Slideshow

One thing I really wish I could change about my website is the viewing size, and the ability to run some of the galleries as a slide show. Since I've already started updating the website using the new templates, I'll go with what I have (for now). To solve the slideshow problem, I'll post links to an external hosting site, that you can use to view the slideshows.

The first one can be found here (there is a little suprise for you at the end):

Monday, September 1, 2008

Back in the Saddle again

Literally, and figuratively. Ok, it's a bad pun, but it sums up my feelings after re-opening the studio, and it also coincides with the first shoot I've done since the construction began in earnest. It also sparked me to take on more work than just portraiture. I'm now going to add motorsports, and commercial efforts to my product offerings.

Here are some samples (click for full size, and choose "all sizes"):








Enjoy the pics, buddy. I had a great time.

Up and running

Well, it has been a long time coming, but I'm extremely happy to announce that we are back to accepting clients again. It has been a rough several weeks with the upgrades happening to the studio and office spaces, and it has taken far longer than I could have imaged. In the end, I trust all the hardship will prove worthwhile. The upgraded mahogany flooring is awesome to see, and if just opens the studio space up with a warm feeling. The office flooring is done, but there is yet some cabinetry and furniture work to complete, but we can at least use the space for post production work.

To show my enthusiasm for the new changes and to the re-opening of the studio, I will be announcing some specials. These will run for a limited time, but will be a great way for anyone to get some fantastic photography. I will make the official announcements by the end of the week.

Thank you all for your patience. I look forward to seeing all my old clients again, and welcome new ones to the family.