Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Thanks to all of the friends and clients of Brian Downer Photography for making 2008 such a great year. As I reflect back on the year, I am amazed at how much changed during the past 12 months, and I still have plans for many more changes for 2009. Some of those changes include:

  • Implementation of fine art portrait collections instead of packages. These collections will be based around the size of the wall print chosen, with various smaller print sizes included (these smaller prints are client selectable).
  • Elimination of packages in favor of A' La' Carte pricing. This will allow for clients to purchase only those products they want, without having to bundle them with additional items they may have no use for.
  • Adding digital media to the A' La' Carte menu. Great for digital photo frames and Facebook/Myspace accounts.
  • Online proof galleries will now be available for 30 days if requested by our clients.
  • Implementation of our Platinum club for our top clients.
  • Complimentary sessions for repeat customers.

Happy New year. We are very excited to see what 2009 brings, and hope your 2009 is the best year yet, filled with family, friends, and joy.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Family Christmas


Just a quick teaser image from my family shoot this (cold) morning. This family was just great, and despite the below freezing temps at sunrise we came away with some wonderful shots.

The couple in in the image above have been married for 42 years. That is just wonderful, and thinking about two people with such a strong bond and commitment to each other makes me smile. For this Christmas, all their children and grandchildren came to town, and this presented a great opportunity for new family portraits.

I had such a great time with everyone. The little kids were just so cute, and everyone was so good natured despite the freezing temps and the early hour. I'm blessed, and honored, to put these images together for them. Time passes too fast, kids grow faster than we realize, and taking time for family cherishing the moments we have with each other is so important.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

I'd like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year. I'll be spending tonight trying to enjoy Christmas through my children. For adults, the holidays can be stressful, with all the shopping, baking, errands, family gatherings and such. I want to step back from all of that and just think of the Christmas that kids see. All they know is the joy of Christmas.

So, this year we are going all out. We are going to stay home, watch the Peanuts specials, and the claymation specials, play some games, and drink hot chocolate. I really want to make Christmas special for my kids this year. Pretty soon my son is going to be too old for Santa, and I don't want to think about how Christmas will be when it will become just about the presents for him. Right now, both my kids just light up when they talk about Santa, and for me their excitement and wonder is really what makes Christmas special.

2009 is going to have some more changes for the studio. Updates for the website, pricing, and other items are coming soon. Lots of updates in the making, so be sure to stop by the website:

Lastly, to all our friends, thanks for making 2008 such a great year. We have had such a blast, and I'm excited to see what 2009 brings.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Mill Avenue

I spent some time last night out on Mill Avenue with a few other photographers. We went out to try and challenge ourselves with things we don't normally do, and in this case we tried low light street photography. Challenging is an understatement. Shooting at f/1.8 at 1/80th of a second at ISO 1250 just to try and get an exposure is very tough. Lighting is a mixture of tungten from the Christmas tree lights, florescent shop lighting spilling into the street, and the headlights of passing cars. Makes white balancing a tough job for sure!




Mill avenue is kinda of a interesting place. It is right next to Arizona State University, and is in the heart of one of the more "progressive" cities. The people it attracts are extremely diverse. You have the college age crowds heading to the bars/clubs, upscale shoppers, general partiers, people visiting Tempe Town lake, and a fairly large homeless/street performers/panhandler contingent as well. It can be a great time, but one needs to be careful as it can get very dangerous. Mill Avenue is pretty well known for some of the violence that takes place there.





Saturday, December 13, 2008

Black and White Christmas


What a way to end the Christmas season. For my last sitting, I was able to do a series of black and white fine art portraits. These kids are really gorgeous, and the images are going to be stunning.


Siblings are always fun to shoot. It can be quite challenging to try and show the bonds between brothers and sisters. Of course, at certain ages, it can be just challenging to get them to get next to each other for pictures. I'm glad these two could work together and get some really amazing shots.


Friday, December 5, 2008

....and another Christmas season comes to a close


It's been a great 2008! I've booked my last Holiday session for the 12th. That barely gives me enough time to do some basic editing, hold a proof session, edit the final images, order them, and deliver them by the week of Christmas. Next year, I'm going to do a better job informing my clients of timeframes. Ideally, studio Holiday portraits need to be scheduled for November to guarantee availability by Christmas. Outdoor Holiday portraits are at the mercy of the weather. December tends to be a wet month, but most locations aren't putting up their holiday decorations until after Thanksgiving. That only gives me a couple weeks for outdoor location shots.

By all appearances, 2009 is going to be a rocking year. I'm almost booked for January, which is often a very slow period and is great for catching up on business related items. Well, it doesn't look like that will happen, so I'll be burning the midnight oil to try and catch up on the website updates, and other such tasks.