Terms of Service

These are the basic terms of my photographic services:

  1. I retain copyright to all photographs that I produce.
  2. I assign rights of use for photographs I produce to the client for editorial, informational and marketing purposes.
  3. Client agrees to destroy all copies of the photographs when the agreed upon period of use terminates.
Posted in Photography, Portrait, Real Estate, Sports, Video

The End of the Season

(Note: I started this post several weeks ago. It was already late at that time. Since then I have procrastinated and dealt with a server-wide virus. The virus and resulting fix crashed my site. I am mostly up and running now, so here’s the latest update on things that happened a couple months ago.)

Well, my sports season is at an end. San Antonio lost in the first round of the NBA playoffs, Texas baseball and softball are out, the closest baseball Super Regional is at TCU – against Texas A&M, so both ‘local’ – and all other sports are finished, elsewhere or not likely.

All in all, Spring 2015 was a crazy sports season for me. I think I covered more NCAA championships this spring then I have in the past year or two combined: basketball in March, gymnastics in April, tennis and track & field in May. All of that on top of a greater than average number of regular sports assignments and a resurgent real estate photography market.

I had a good run this Spring – best that I can remember – and I think that bodes well for the coming Autumn season. Schools are starting to remember me and contact me directly. That is exciting and will be more so if it continues across other sports/seasons. So, here’s to looking forward. I hope I survive a summer without sports…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Photography, Sports

Busy April

My March madness extended into April this year. Texas Relays, OU softball and baseball, and NCAA gymnastics – seems like I haven’t had a free weekend for a while now. Which I guess is a good thing, but it sure makes me tired.

The gymnastics was something new and fun. I was nervous going into it – I’ve only ever shot gymnastics once, a few years ago at a men’s tournament in Houston. This time around it was the women’s NCAA Championships in Ft. Worth. 12 teams and various individuals competed during prelims on Friday the 17th for spots in the finals – teams on Saturday and individuals on Sunday. Three teams hired me – one tracking me down on site shortly before their prelim appearance.

The teams took turns at 4 different apparatus (apparently the plural is the same as the singular – go figure) – beam, uneven bars, floor, and vault. I had never shot any of these and so I was not quite sure what to expect. As it turns out, shooting women’s gymnastics was much like the proverbial ‘fish in a barrel’ – at this stage, they are all so good that so long as you have the basic sports timing down you are going to get a good shot. Several good shots, in fact. I posted over 65 images for each team on the first day – my usual for any sport event is 15-30.

One team and 5 individuals advanced to the finals, so my expected one-day trip turned into a three-day weekend in Ft. Worth. Totally worth it – women’s gymnastics is now one of my favorite sports to shoot. And I have a long list of challenges for myself the next time I get the chance.

Here’s a link to a gallery on my Google+ account. Enjoy!

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Posted in Photography, Sports

Interview Video

Part of the craziness of my March was taking on new business opportunities. One such was shooting an interview video for a real estate client – Lourdes Norton of Twin Realty Group.

The concept was an introduction video for herself and the services she offers – residential real estate in Austin focusing on relocations. My plan was to intersperse photo/video of Austin with her clips and overlay the audio. It turned out to be harder than I anticipated to get the photos/videos I wanted – largely due to weather – but I managed a finished product.

Enjoy!

Posted in Real Estate, Video

March Madness 2015

Every year around this time, life gets a little bit crazy. For me, its not just the basketball – though that is a nice perk. Real estate picks up, SXSW comes to town, random jobs fall from the sky – things get crazy in a very good way.

But back to basketball. This year I had the pleasure of being able to follow the Northwestern State Lady Demons through their participation in the first round of the championships at Baylor. They drew the short straw and faced Baylor in their first game – an almost certain early exit – and they wanted to make sure they had every moment captured. They brought me up for practice on Thursday, let me into the locker room, and pulled me aside at random moments for a quick posed shot – including one in the final minutes of the game while they were sitting on the bench. And I must say – while they were definitely prepared to lose to an overwhelming Baylor team – and did so by 41 points – they certainly didn’t play like it. They kept the pressure up for the full 40 minutes and had they been able to shoot better than 24% the game would have been much closer. Still probably a loss.

One other note – Northwestern State is a repeat client and a great group of people to work with. I’ve covered their men’s basketball at the NCAA tournament in 2013, their  women’s volleyball at the NCAA tournament in 2014 and now this. I’m hoping this trend continues.

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Posted in Photography, Sports

Thanks Alot, SXSW 2015

 

 

I’ve never been that into SXSW. No real reason – its just not my scene. Even with the interactive aspect and all the cool tech I still find it hard to get past the crowds and hype and media overload. That being said, I have no problem accepting a job that takes me into the heart of the fray. This year, as with last, it was WWE that brought me in. The upside was that I got to follow Hulk Hogan – yes, THAT Hulk Hogan – around for half a day and it turns out he is a very entertaining person. He knows how to talk and work a crowd. He’s not all muscles and jock-brain; he’s actually an intelligent, well spoken and personable dude. With very large muscles.

Hulk and Mini-Hulk

Hulk and Mini-Hulk

The downside to my experience – aside from simply having to be involved with SXSW – was a massive allergy attack, a potential client (a PR firm) that waited too long to hire me so their client (XPRIZE) hired someone directly and this:

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I took the train home – Mindy and Declan picked me up at the MLK station – and on my way off the train, in my allergy wasted half-asleep state, I failed to notice in time that my camera strap was not securely around my neck. Nor was my sluggish hand fast enough to both meet and grasp the camera as it fell. The body of the lens sheared off the mount, ripping some screws out and tearing a piece from the circuit board. This just one month after I cancelled my insurance because it was too expensive (knowing full well when I did that something like this was bound to happen).

Honestly, I don’t blame SXSW or Hulk Hogan (seriously, the guy is so much cooler than I ever gave him credit for and I loved him as a kid) for any of this. I would work a job downtown tomorrow if offered. But I still prefer to avoid the hoopla and spend my Spring Break elsewhere. And I am running out of lenses.

Posted in I Am Dumb, Photography

Mopac Bridge

Today, I did this:

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Then I drove across the Mopac Bridge, hopefully filming the view of downtown Austin across the Colorado River. The raw footage is processing right now. We shall see…

 

UPDATE:

Looks like I need better stabilization for my camera rig. Much better. If you care to watch, I am attaching the video. It’s about 20 secs long. I applied some YouTube stabilization on top of that in iMovie so the quality took a big hit.

Other than fixing the shake I need more control on the angle. I’ll probably end up having a driver while I control the camera. Promising results, though.

Posted in Photography, Video

3102 Appennini Way, Cedar Park, TX

Another video, this one a walkthrough. The house was surprisingly nice – they had remodeled and updated and done a very good job of it. I tried out a different slider for this one but was not as happy with the results as I was with the previous video – better quality slider on this, but I just didn’t capture the best quality clips.

More videos on the horizon – including some video introductions and community profiles. Hopefully, spring will be here soon so I can start working on the outdoor shots.

Posted in Sports

9201 Silver Pine Cv

This past week I shot a lifestyle video for a real estate listing in Westlake. After consulting with the client I wrote up a basic story board and hired some local talent (thank you Kacey and Kareem). I’ve been wanting a slider for a while now and the fact that the two available locally for rent were not actually available on the day I needed them was a good excuse for some new equipment. It took about 5 hours with a few short follow ups to get the footage I needed. And the result is: a happy client and this video –

Posted in Real Estate, Video

Last minute video

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Last week I was hired by HR Block to photograph their town hall convention here in Austin. The job came to me last minute as they scrambled to find an available photographer. The job was straight forward enough and I was open so no problem with the short notice. But when the client called the day before the convention to ask if I could shoot video as well, that seemed a bit iffy.

After making sure that they knew I couldn’t promise anything spectacular I decided to bring what gear I had – a Nikon D7000 and an ME-1 mic – and shoot what I could. After a few hours of your typical convention shots the attendees broke into small groups for some marketing strategizing. While they were doing this, I was to have a helper pull random individuals for testimonial video. Nothing went quite as planned – I got myself set up but no helper was to be found. With no one even wandering the halls, I ended up twiddling my thumbs for a while. On the plus side, I had plenty of time to get my meager gear set. While I wouldn’t recommend this set up to anyone, it ended up doing the job well enough.

When my helper finally arrived and began wrangling people I was ready to go. Instead of testimonials, though, I got ‘This is what I learned/taught today’. And since everyone learned/taught the same thing, I got 8 people telling me the same thing in slightly different ways. Still, if this was what they wanted, who was I to argue?

Only no one seemed to know exactly what they wanted. Apparently the video had been requested by someone other than the person responsible for hiring and directing me. That person had failed to pass along anything other than a general concept of ‘Testimonials’. And since that person ended up being my helper and asking people to answer a question that was not quite testimonial, I didn’t bother questioning the change in tactic.

So I ended up with a few minutes of video with 8 different people answering the question of what they taught/learned that day at the convention – all of which was pretty much the same. After editing and transmitting the pictures, I found out that my contact had no idea what I was supposed to do with these video files. He asked me to go ahead and edit them into a short video – with no direction other than a bare concept that had changed at the last second. Wonderful.

Turns out I really enjoy editing video. Even poor quality video with little to no direction from the client. I spent a few hours playing with iMovie and YouTube audio files and eventually ended up with something passable. I sent it on to the my contact and he approved. I admit, I was surprised. I expected at least a few edits. I guess since no one really knew what the finished product should be that what I sent was as good as anything. And, really, it’s  not that bad.

Well, at least I had fun producing it. And despite this little video snafu, these people were pretty fun to work with.

Posted in Photography, Video