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A Date That Will Live in Infamy

Last month we had the honor and privilege of covering an event that featured Gene Dick as a featured speaker; Dick is a serviceman that was aboard the USS Oklahoma on December 7th, 1941 and only one of seven to survive.

I included the wide shot to give an idea of the number of people present and captivated by his story, so much so that one could hear that proverbial pin drop during the pauses in his story.  

 The event was a Rotary event in which members from all of District 5320's clubs gather to be congratulated on their particular club's efforts to raise funds for the Rotary International Foundation.

At the conclusion of the speech District Governor Jim Lorman awarded him a Paul Harris Fellowship to a standing ovation that was then followed by a salute by current and past members of the military.

We feel fortunate to often be present at "history making" events but being there to hear this gentleman's story really helps to bring things into perspective.

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Welcome to the Holidays!

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Nothing says "Welcome to the Holiday Season!" like some blood, gore, zombies or in our case this year MERMAIDS! 

Every year Halloween marks the beginning of the year-end celebrations for our clients.  Some are holiday themed, some are seasonal themed, but mostly they're a way for the management of the company to thank the employees for work well done and celebrate the year's accomplishments.

Look for more images from our green screen portraits as it seems to be quite popular this year!

Our Favorite Campaign Photo!

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As another election cycle is mercifully coming to an end and without tipping our political beliefs hand, we're happy to share that a few candidates selected our studio for the photography to be used in their political campaigns.  

The campaign imagery was as varied as the candidates themselves.  For some of the shoots we were out in construction zones, in "grip and grins" with campaign donors, and some we shot in the comfortable confines of our studio. The candidates ranged from those seeking national office, to one vying for a seat in city council, to our favorite (ok I said wasn't going to tip our hand but how could he not be our favorite?!) a third grader in the hunt for student council Sergeant-at-arms!

Maestro Diemecke and the LBSO

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All Long Beach is abuzz this week because of the opening concert of the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra's 2012-2013 season.  In that light I'll share the story on how I captured this image that has become the signature piece for the LBSO's Classics Series.​

More than once I've described my job as a hunt.  ​I have an objective in mind, the image I'm envisioning, but I have to have the proper tools, technique, and patience both in preparation and in execution.  

With this shot I wanted to capture how I feel when I  attend a concert.  I have an intimate hour and a half with the music, the composer(s) and ​the artists.  I try not to let the fact that there are thousands of people sharing that time with me detract from my experience;  this image says to me "we're here for you!"

So this is where it gets fun, how I got the image:  It all starts with knowing your subject; Maestro Enrique Arturo Diemecke really connects with the audience each and every time!  So that part was easy, I knew he was going to ask the Orchestra to take a bow, AND I knew he was going to be Diemecke-sian in receiving the adoration of the crowd, so I just had to have the permission of the PR department to literally bolt from a theater alcove to center stage, first row.  So I did my best at taking light readings from the side, knowing full well that they would be a couple stops under from w​here I was actually going to shoot, but at least I had a place to start.  

From when the piece ended ​to image capture about 20 seconds elapsed.  The music stopped, and while still facing the Orchestra he's asking them to stand, first one side then the other. The audience  follows suit and the green light goes on for me, I know I'm not disturbing the front row because they're completely immersed in the performance and are busy feeding Maestro Diemecke and the Orchestra the adulation they deserve.  Then I get lucky, really lucky; there happens to be an empty seat near the center so I will not have to crouch or stand up sporadically every time I fire off a shot.  As the Orchestra is basking in the ovation, I have the luxury of capturing the scene because of that lucky seat!

The result is an image printed and delivered to tens of thousands of patrons and prospective patrons of the arts to entice them to come have an intimate evening with the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra.​

A tale of two Portrait Sessions

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​A couple of weeks ago we worked these two completely unrelated events where both meeting planners hired us because they wanted the attendees to receive their portraits before they left the event, but that's about where the similarities ended. 

One of the meeting planners made it clear that she wanted our green screen photography to be part of the entertainment of the evening.  It was an 800 person event held at the Museum of Latin American Art and ​she wanted to have our subjects to have fun with props and have a Latin American or Long Beach feeling background to go with their image.  Oh and the choice would be up to the guests as they take their place in the spotlight so they could choose appropriate props.   

​The other event was at the Aquarium of the Pacific and they simply wanted to WOW! their guests by having a professional portrait in front of one of the many beautiful galleries.  Although it sounds more straightforward than the green screen portrait session mentioned above, this too had technical issues to keep in mind.  One of the reasons the staff at Savor refers us to their clients is our familiarity with the galleries and our experience at lighting  both the backgrounds and the subjects so that they're both well exposed and so that we don't end up with a bright reflection on the glass since if not lit properly that glass would act as a gigantic mirror!

When all was said and done it was a great feeling being able to provide to our clients and to THEIR clients exactly what they wanted!

If your cup runneth over

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Last week we were privileged to photograph the 30th Annual Greater Long Beach Leadership Prayer Breakfast.  It was a very emotional day coming on the heels of September 11th.  In the room were dignitaries from government and as the name implies, leaders of the business community.  ​

The takeaway message of Dr. Scott Rodin was that God (after all it was a prayer breakfast) put us on this earth to work and that we really honor Him with our labor.  Dr. Rodin stressed that he views Sunday as the first day of the  week and not the last day of the weekend.  This perspective, he added, has everything to do with our appreciation of our work.  

He dramatically demonstrated a ​glass overflowing with joy and happiness with enough to share with our families, friends and acquaintances! 

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4th Annual KCRW Pie Fest at LACMA

This weekend we were back at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) to photograph the event for KCRW.  The crowd just to get onto the museum grounds was monstrous, the line of cars to turn into the parking structure went around the corner from 6th down into Fairfax.  This around-the-corner queue was a precursor to the other queue to try the pies!  KCRW did a great job of figuring out how to dish out thousands of pieces of pie!!

Call them "Hunters" not "Scavengers."

Yesterday our studio was the center of the Scavenger Hunt Universe for Belmont Shore and Naples Island.  All month long shoppers have gone around the shopping districts collecting stamps and getting to know the areas a little bit better.

Without fail each time we participate in this great event we hear "I drive by here ALL THE TIME and didn't know you were here!" or "Oh I didn't know that you also do commercial photography, I thought you were only a portrait studio."

It is really up to us, the participating merchants to engage this crowd that quite literally otherwise would not have set foot in our storefront. 

The everpresent cell phone

It only seemed appropriate to start the blog with an image of a cell phone photographer.  Quite literally every time I'm out on a shoot inevitably someone will hand me his/her phone and ask me to take their picture with it.  With the advent of technology these phones offer file sizes greater than the ones we could provide with our first digital camera, the D1 a $5k Nikon body in 2000!