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Midlife Crisis Passion - Fujifilm Photographer

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Midlife Crisis Passion - Fujifilm Photographer

Good Morning People!

It’s a beautiful day and the promises of love fulfilled with another wonderful wedding is pushing me forward through my coffee addiction. I’m sure you all know how much I love coffee.

The title doesn’t explain the recent direction change in my life, passion and photography, so let me try to explain a little better. I’m not changing anything fundamentally about my life… so my photography, love for coffee and pushing life’s zest are not changing.

In case you missed the “Video that No One Noticed”, I’m switching to FujiFilm cameras. This has been in the mix for about four years since “someone” gifted me a X100 to carry on motorcycle road trips. Later I realized that it originally belonged to my talented photographer friend, Leia Smethurst. Talk about a gift that keeps giving, the little camera is still a valuable part of my collection.

I’ve been actively using the new system for over a month exclusively for work and personal projects. There is a large learning curve, mainly with menu term differences and the daily disbelief this smaller camera frame will get the job done to my standards. I’ve have more than a few issues with relearning how the TTL flash system functions and understanding the built-in tone curve adjustments. However, in moving to a compact, lighter and faster camera system inherent with mirrorless bodies, I’ve been over the moon in love with Fujifilm’s technology.

The next transition will be diving into more fashion and creative exposure projects, as well as, increasing my education circuit portfolio. I’ve created a new website - still in progress - to showcase those moving forward - Fujifilm Photographer. Most of theses ideas congealed during Bedford Camera PhotoExpo in Memphis, Tennessee, where I was teaching a class and leading a photowalk on world famous Beale Street.

You know that these types of radical changes are never done alone even if it seems that way. I must thank Jessica and the fabulous staff at Bedford Camera & Video for all their support, Jackie from Fujifilm USA for always encouraging me to look deeper into their line, Leia for leading the way into full-time shooting with Fujifilm, my darling talented photographer wife Terri for always supporting my crazy ideas and my Voxer tribe “Royal Flush” for pushing me forward.

See you on the other side of Fujifilm happiness rainbow!

Special Thanks! to Jamie from Photoville for always capturing my “best” side in BTS pics

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Coffee, Weddings and 2017

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Coffee, Weddings and 2017

Welcome to the new year and new directions.  Well, maybe not a new direction but some new outlets and projects.  We are working on the new website design, the majority of it is completed and online but we are adding a new Photographer's Resource Page for our education side of the business.  We are pushing more into the personal project areas and partnering with Photos on the Vine and CaptureTV as well as continuing platform speaking for PPA local guilds and events.  If you have been following my social media feed, then you already know "a little" about the new "Coffee with Robert" plans.  The new platform I'm working on is a bi-monthly Google Hangout to answer any photo related questions while I drink coffee.  This way I can reach a wider audience that can't make it to my favorite coffee shops around the metro.

If you are a previous client or a future one, we haven't forgotten about you.  We are still doing things a little differently than most photographers in the metro,  specially in the wedding photography department.  We love to meet with every couple for a consultation and don't book on the "first date".  We firmly believe that, while we are not the best photographers in Oklahoma, we are the best for the couples that choose us.  We adore our couples!

We would love to hear about your experience with our new online digs and are open to suggestions if the information isn't clear.  Of course, we do love to have coffee and Sara Sara cupcakes if you want to chat or work on a special project.

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Skip a Latte & Make a Child Smile

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Skip a Latte & Make a Child Smile

We love to help non-profits that are close to our hearts, like Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, Hope Chest and Friends of the Mustang Animal Shelter.  We even spend some time donating our talent to Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep.  None of that is for a pat on the back, but we believe it's a necessary part of any business to give back to the community.

What is really striking and cause of applause, is when a previous client gets involved in giving early in their lives, especially with children.  Today's post is about that unique person pushing themselves to be better and using their talents to help others.  That person is Daylan Whittle.

 Daylan on the set of "Bloom" during filming with Diane Kern (Wintershine Productions) in Kingfisher, OK.

Daylan on the set of "Bloom" during filming with Diane Kern (Wintershine Productions) in Kingfisher, OK.

I first met her when she was 12 years old on the set of Bloom, a film by Diane Kern.  My friend Brian Davis and I were fortunate in shooting the behind the scenes stills, as well as headshots of the actors.  We stayed in touch over the years until Daylan was a senior at Yukon High School and wanted me to shoot her last year in school.  We scheduled four sessions and created some amazing work that I still use today for presentations and workshops.

Daylan is now a student at Oklahoma University in Norman, studying Public Relations, active member of the equestrian team and still finds time to help children touched by a parent's cancer.  The main focus is to provide a safe and welcoming environment for those children to have fun and rediscover their childhood.

The story of Camp Kesem is a unique one and the only national organization focused on helping those children in this difficult family situation.  I imagine it also gives young adults a valuable grounding of the important aspects of family, love and support.

This will be Daylan's second year to volunteer at Camp Kesem, completely ran by college students.  Check out the website for the camp and please help support Daylan's efforts to help others through donations on the site.  She is looking to raise $500 this year and every dollar helps.  Don't be shy, skip a latte and help a child smile.

CLICK HERE TO SUPPORT DAYLAN'S EFFORTS

 Daylan with Lenny during her high school Senior Fashion Session.

Daylan with Lenny during her high school Senior Fashion Session.

 

 

 

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Let's Be Crazy Together

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Let's Be Crazy Together

 We love shooting the details at your wedding.  We wort hard to bring our your personality and style with our photography.  And if you got the great shoes, you will get more attention! 

We love shooting the details at your wedding.  We wort hard to bring our your personality and style with our photography.  And if you got the great shoes, you will get more attention! 

Terri and I are not your average wedding photographers.  I'm sure you have noticed that already.  And I have some crazy ideas occasionally, maybe often, that I'm urged to put into play.  Many of these ideas have been a bust but so many have lead us in a completely different direction.  One of my favorite transformations was the Dare2Share website becoming the FotoFacts Podcast, solely focusing on sharing my passion of photography by empowering new shooters with all the "secret" skills.

Well, I think the next crazy idea has arrived.  We are inviting wedding vendors to share a blog post about their best ideas, practices, short-cuts, the DO lists, the DON'T list, the top 5 list... whatever they wish to call it.  And even crazier idea than that - I'm going to let other wedding photographers in on my blog as well.

The first thing running through your mind right now is "Why?".  Terri and I believe that EVERY couple deserves a great wedding regardless of budget.  Why not share some ideas that will help make that a reality.  Sure they are awesome resources already available online, but I wanted something a little more intimate, something more real and maybe something more Oklahoma.

Let's be honest, I'm a full time photographer and I LOVE weddings but I'm not going to shoot 30 or 40 weddings a year.  Kudos to the ones that do.  We want a more personal touch with our couples, so we invite 20 couples a year and only one wedding per weekend.  This way we can focus all our attention on that couple on their most wonderful day.  We have a mantra in our business model - "We are not the best photographers in Oklahoma, but for twenty couples a year, we are THEIR BEST photographer".

Please join us on this venture of focusing on giving great direction to couples to plan an awesome event at any budget.  Remember, we've done many weddings but this is their first.

If you are a wedding vendor or a previous bride, we want YOUR BEST ADVICE.  Click below to get started.

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Motorcycles, Cupcakes & The Secret to Life

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Motorcycles, Cupcakes & The Secret to Life

It’s been a while since writing about my motorcycle rides here on the blog.  I wanted followers to experience more of this journey through life, specially since we approach photography with our clients on a personal level.  Terri & I really like to get to know you better to help show your personality in the creative images.

This morning’s ride to Bedford Camera & Video for a meeting on the upcoming PhotoCon 2016 was a little intense with 30mph crosswind and thunderstorms looming in the distance.  Many times the choice to ride is a desire, but being a one car family with my middle daughter taking classes at Canadian Valley Tech Center and a part time job at the outlet mall, the choice to ride is becoming more of a need than want.  It’s hard to fit most of the gear needed for photo shoots on the bike and not very secure for pitstops between sessions.  Our family has managed this balancing act for about three years with the help from family and friends, but the need for another all weather vehicle is on the horizon.

What does riding a motorcycle and photography have in common?  Actually, more than you think. However, the most important similarity would be enjoying the moment by being involved.  You have to be “right here” without much noise flowing through your head.  Those that ride understand exactly what I mean, while cruising around you must be vigilant of everyone else’s possible action or reaction that could put you in danger.  The more daydreaming or distractions you have, the more chance of a miscalculation that could have life altering results.  I never listen to music riding around town and very rarely on long trips.  I just don’t want anything to take away from the moment or dull my senses of the environment around me, including the bad weather.  It’s still amazing to me all the different smells I encounter while on the bike, with the wind rushing around me, the warmth of the sun on my face or the vibration of power available at the twist of a wrist.  The moment makes be feel so alive.

Photography is an artisan craft, honed through time, knowledge and experience sprinkled with personal vision.  I want the photography sessions to have the same impact as riding, we must be involved with the subject or client to understand and enjoy the moments.  This is true for both the photographer and the client.  We must remove the distractions and focus on crafting an image that goes beyond a snapshot. This is difficult when either of the parties are thinking of something else, checking their cells phones, worrying about finishing in time for the next important appointment., etc.  Are you really involved or just physically here?  The choice is yours to make and I hope you choose wisely, because the true value of that moment maybe not be understood until much later and never to be recreated again.

Did that make you think a little?  Were you focused on reading this post or glancing over a few words speed-reading looking for the meaning of life?  Hopefully you are still with me ‘cause sweets are just around the next paragraph.  Yes, indeed the cupcakes are waiting for you.

We have been a fan of SaraSara Cupcakes for so long that we routinely schedule a portion of many sessions nearby as an excuse to stop for a sweet break.  Besides having amazingly tasty cupcakes, SaraSara has the coldest milk bar around.  You must be careful because brain freeze while chugging a tall frosted glass of chocolate milk is a real possibility.  We have seen it happen many times, despite the warnings. SaraSara is our little place of heaven near the studio and with all of that going for this family business, we’re most impressed with it’s focus.  It’s not just another business focused on making more dollars but on remembering the joy, passion and laughter of Sara, who is still changing lives today, one cupcake at a time.  If you are not familiar with her story, please take the time to watch this short Discover Oklahoma video.

Talking about changing the world, SaraSara is donating profits from the sale of the Dreamsicle cupcake during the month of September to the No Kid Hungry program.  You can help change the kid’s world by eating a sweet cupcake (or two or three) before the end of the month.  This is your chance to be in the moment, turn off the distractions and focus on the sweet cupcake in front of you.  Trust me when we say that giving your undivided attention to a cupcake can be a life changing moment.  Of course the change happens after we Instagram, Facebook and Tweet the fact we are having a SaraSara Cupcake.  What are you waiting for?  

If talking about cupcakes didn’t get you hungry and in the mood to help, we are including some past images from our visits at SaraSara Cupcakes mixed in with a few motorcycle pics from the road.  Enjoy these, but don’t forget to get your own cupcake.

Well you made it past all the cupcake photos, so I feel obligated to tell you about the secret of life.  Here it is…  Be X - Explore X - Share X  The “X” is different for everyone. Now, eat a cupcake and find your X.

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