Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Trying to build a new website

HELP!!!!  I am having a devil of a time trying to select my very best images to showcase on a new website. One minute I'm focusing on the majestic Hudson Valley, the next I'm entranced with Acadia, Maine or Scotland! How can I select only 23???? Luckily I just called the web designers and they informed me I can load up more after the design has been approved - so now it's just trying to settle on categories and which 23 I am sending them.  This is not easy! Here are some I've decided are a go.....
 These three images have been sold at local gift shops as post cards and 5" x 7"'s . As a matter of fact, Surviving Sisters' Boutique just signed me up as a participating artist and is currently selling these images there (4412 Albany Post Road, Hyde Park, NY 12538).  They have some great things at that store - stop in and check it out! 
If you've seen (or purchased) any of my other images that you think I should include on the new website, please add it to the comments below. I love hearing what other people's favorites are. Thanks for your input!
Keep on shooting!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

At least I've been shooting

Between my computer being so slow lately (more memory and new Hard Drive is on the way!) and having to plow through more email than ever before, thanks to social marketing,  I got into a funk about how frustrating it is to try and run a photography business.  So, the thing that always gets me OUT of that funk is, enjoy doing what I love doing - shooting beautiful pictures.

Took a break from the frustrations last week by heading to the Norwalk Maritime Museum in Connecticut to find some Meerkats. Actually, the seals stole my heart and I was totally entranced by the Jellyfish.
The following day I was asked by BFF photographer Patti Hale to assist her on a shoot with two beautiful young ladies. That was a blast! Hannah and Courtney were great models to work with and we found some really cool barns and graffiti covered ruins that made wonderful backgrounds.
So, I invited Patti to come along with me on a "Mommy and Me" shoot of a special young woman in my life who just had the most adorable baby boy.
I shot the American Heart Association group shots on Saturday and then yesterday enjoyed an early morning sunrise shoot with another BFF, Lynn McCabe and enjoyed some quality light. 
Got lots of nice images from that shoot, despite the fact that the world is still drab and colorless.  Here's what greeted me when I came home:
The weather is starting to warm up and the earth is beginning to green uo, so get out there and take some quality photographs. Have a Happy St. Patrick's Day and Happy Shooting!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Top 12 Dream List

OK. I actually had a few folks write and ask what are the things I am lusting after... and I have a birthday coming up, so it's not a bad list to pull together for hubby.  As always, though, I don't know how to order these things. I want them all!!!!!

1. Nikkor 70-200 mm lens. I actually have an OLD film version of this lens which makes me happy, but the new one is tack sharp and has vibration reduction and makes shooting portraits a dream. A friend offered me her "last year's version" at half price (still $1300) but the reviews for the newest one make me want it (still, tough to substantiate $2400).

2. I want the IPad. And now there is a brand new version! Again, I have a tough time convincing myself I NEED this toy but I sure do want one. There have been recent reviews on non-Apple netbooks and I'm wondering if someone can help me find one that works as good as the ipad but doesn't cost as much. What a cool way to show off your images and keep yourself busy when you are stuck waiting.

3. Photoshop CS5. Now we are getting into an area that is more practical. As a photographer I need to keep up with current technology and Photoshop CS5 does offer the next level of digital darkroom coolness. The content aware feature is ALMOST worth it's price. I just downloaded the free trial! What the heck - maybe it really is worth the price and this is the first thing I should invest in.

4. New tripod. Unfortunately the one that is calling my name is $849 with a ball head/pistol grip that is an additional $349...so this isn't going to happen anytime soon. I have a really decent tripod but it has screwy leg adjusters that are a pain in the neck - not those quick snap jobbys (or twist tighteners). And why, oh why, did I not get the pistol grip when I knew it was cool? Perhaps I can find one of these on some secondhand site. I really want this but don't want to settle for "not good enough" any more.

5. A new background would be nice. I have white seamless paper but it is a dull white and boring. I am contemplating getting one of those collapsible backgrounds but I fear going to a client's and not being able to collapse it!

6. Hey, here's something that I can probably order today. A Gary Fong lightsphere.  When I went to the Hudson Valley Click  shoot out last week, several photographers had these. They called them their "tupperware." I liked the quality of light I saw when these friends posted their images. I can get the whole basic kit for $83. Not bad.  By the way, here's one of my pictures from that shoot.

7. A colleague has been raving about the Totally RAD actions. As a matter of fact, he applied 2 actions to the image above and her skin sure does look soft. For $149 this is probably a very good investment.

8.  A new hard drive! This was not on my list originally, since I just purchased one recently. But I asked a friend why my Lightroom is running so slow and he informed me that the HD I bought is attached via USB which makes it very SLOW. I need to get a Firewire 8 hard drive to store my images on and then I can use the USB one as a nightly back up. This is not a fun purchase, but it is definitely a NEED.

9.  The Nikon Telephoto AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D IF Autofocus Lens.  I love looking at Ryan Brenizer's posts - he's got a system with this lens and it's beautiful. But at $1000, it is not going to happen for me anytime soon. 

10. How could I have forgotten either the Radio Poppers or the Pocket Wizards.  I know the latter are more expensive but I really must research the pros and cons of both. At any rate, I enjoy shooting with the flash remotely and have been doing OK with the Nikon CLS system, but it is time to take it up a notch and use a radio tranceiver. My friend Nuby raves about the Poppers, so I think I'm headed down that road. I just have a tough time figuring out which exact pieces I need. Someone please help!

11.  This is totally an "if I win the lottery" item, but the Nikon 16mm f/2.8D AF Fisheye-Nikkor Lens sure would be fun! 

12. OK, realistically, honey - if you are reading this for my birthday, how about the book, "Get Your Photography on the Web", by RC Concepcion.  Then, if I start selling big time I can afford all of the other goodies! 

Happy shooting, friends!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Ooops. Late on the blog this week!

Does anybody care?  I've been pretty good about posting once a week for over a year now, but this week I was busy with all good stuff...but busy nonetheless.  My business, Chris Davis Cina Photography, is "Business of the month" at Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union (HVFCU) which meant I had to make up some marketing materials to present on the table that focuses on me. My new brochure printed up pretty nice, thanks to Dutchess ProPrint:
The same evening I set my table up at HVFCU, I attended at "You Pick The Theme Shoot Out & Party" party planned by HV Click. That resulted in over 400 photos that all needed to be plowed through, edited and selected. Here are a few:
If that wasn't enough, I've been working on a promotional portfolio book and I am just about ready to hand that over to the lab.... so, I've been shooting and being creative.  How about you?
It's weekend, folks!  Happy shooting!