Monday, March 31, 2008

Thousands of Frames Per Second!

Back in my videography days, I was dying to experiment with Photron high speed cameras and capturing high speed video clips and playing them back in super slow motion! I never did get my hands on one :( Anyway, my friend and wedding planner extraordinaire Laura of Soiree Special Events showed me this YouTube video and I felt all nostalgic inside, lol.

Photron high speed video cameras record at thousands of frames per second and then replay in high resolution slow motions so you can see exactly what occurred and when. The technology has been around a while, but it's still WAY cool don'tcha think?

And y'all know my history with firearms so I couldn't leave this one out :)

And here's a little saucy slow-mo video where the last few seconds will leave a smile on your face...


Friday, March 28, 2008

Kristie & Corey

Believe it or not I'm actually falling behind in my blogging! But doing my best to catch up. I've got some posts in queue, but will likely try and take a break this weekend and spend it with my family, I've neglected them long enough this week, lol.

This year my blog will focus more on my personal stuff, reality TV style. But I'll still share some of my photo sessions, weddings, and e-sessions to keep things moving forward :)

Kristie & Corey... where do I begin with these two? They are a fun, non-camera-shy couple that really got into their engagement photo op! I tend to attract clients that love photography, albums, and enjoy being in front of the camera :) It was a blast capturing their charm and personality at North Beach, MD, not far from where Kristie grew up. They had their beautiful dogs with them as well to join the fun. We even stopped by Sweet Sue's Bake Shop in North Beach where they are having 20+ cakes made for the wedding - in addition to their main wedding cake, each table will have their own "wedding" cake consisting of different flavors - yum!!

I'm actually going to meet up with them again in Corey's home state of N. Carolina next month for a second e-session. This is in an effort to capture their love of the water and the places where they came from. Not to mention they've got a pretty big wedding album and guest book package so I wanna pack in as much material for me to use in the post-processing and album design phase for them.

Enjoy the slideshow & some photos!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Chuck Taylors!

Am I a cool dad or what? :)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Soiree Special Events = Peace of Mind Wedding Planning :)

Day-of, Partial & Full Event Planning Services by Laura Auer, owner of Soiree Special Events!

Bring peace of mind to your wedding planning so you can focus on enjoying one of the biggest days of your life! As many of you know, I'm all about doing what I can to help my clients have a fun time on their wedding day and not stress out. As a wedding photographer, I am a stickler when it comes to striving to be the last vendor you need to worry about. Well I found another awesome company that will take that a step further...

The Soiree Special Events team! (Owner, the lovely Laura Auer, is 3rd from the right)

Hello brides! Is the thought and process of planning your wedding a daunting task? I believe it is for most of my brides so you're not alone. It's no secret that planning a wedding can be stressful when having to research vendors, plan the rehearsal, select the colors, flowers, music, venues ... oh it can really be time consuming, not to mention confusing sometimes on how to actually put these ideas into action.

But listen up, wedding planning does NOT have to be this way! There is a solution!

That's where my friend Laura Auer and her company, Soiree Special Events, comes to the rescue. Go check out her site and see what it's all about and how her services can add value to your wedding planning process, relieve the stress, and bring peace of mind so you can focus on enjoying your special day. Laura offers different levels of packages to meet different budgets.

So please pay her a visit and check out her blog that has so many great tips and resources!

In the meantime, here's my short video about Laura and SOIREE SPECIAL EVENTS

Laura Auer of Soiree Special Events from Armin DeFiesta on Vimeo.

For the record, the following is NOT a paid "advertisement" for Soiree Special Events! LOL, now that's outta the way...

Be sure to check out her post about ME too!

My Head Shots by [b]ecker

Erin & I had a cool time with several other photographers outside the Paris hotel where [b]ecker did some complimentary head shots. Other than a slight s-curve adjustment and vignetting that I added, the shot was straight out of [b]ecker's camera. Thanks [b]!!

Camera body: Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III (yep, the new one he's testing out)
Lens: 85mm f/1.2
L (sweet)
Exposure: 1/640 sec @ f/2.5, ISO 400

He made a funny video post about how he took these head shots. Be sure to check out [b]ecker's work and his [b] school blog!

Lunch at Los Tios

On Tuesday I had the pleasure of spending some time with Erin of Erin J Photo and Sally of Sally Brewer Photography. We had fun talking about WPPI and the biz in general. Everyone brought a few product samples to share because as photographers we're always on the hunt for different and cool products for our clients!

But the important thing is we had some yummy Mexican food at Los Tios! Thank goodness because I've been craving mexican food lately. It may not meet the southwest standards, but it wasn't bad!

Couldn't leave without a couple of snap shots - Me & Erin

Me & Sally!

Thanks guys for hanging out! See you next time!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Jessica's Birthday & Sarah's Pictage Spotlight

People may wonder why I share so much about other photographers businesses on my blog, and whether it hurts my business. The opposite actually happens... we learn from each other and put our own unique spin on things and grow our own businesses. In today's market, it's about selling your brand, your style, and finding your niche that makes you unique. Connecting to your client is a business AND personal mission for all of us as photographers. Sure it's competition, but a friendly one, and I'm proud to have so many photographers that are friends! Photography can be a cut-throat & lonely business, but who said it has to be?

And in this post, I wanted to focus on two friends of mine, who... you guessed it... are photographers, lol. Speaking of friends.....

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESS!! Monday, 3/24, was Jessica Del Vecchio's birthday, so a few of us took her to dinner at Cafe Deluxe in Bethesda, MD. Jessica and Sarah Hodzic of Blink DC Photography are our DC Pictage User Group's "social committee" :)

Jessica & Sarah

And it was just last week we all bonded in the Foto Cabina ..... Vegas style! lol ;)

Sarah was the evening's feature studio spotlight for our monthly DC Pictage User Group (PUG) meeting. Be sure to check out HER blog post! She did a fabulous job presenting her business model and philosophies, citing how her business turned around just recently after re-evaluating her goals, marketing approach, and reigniting her passion for creativity! She showed us some of her newest marketing tools that I think really works very well for her brand. When I saw the items, I totally got it and could easily see how it was the "Sarah-Blink DC" brand. Way to go girl!

She's also working on a video that helps her audience connect with her on a more personal level, showing her personality and style. I'm telling y'all, showing videos of yourself on your blog or wherever can be a very effective tool in connecting with your audience. It's worked very well for me!

Here she gave us a sneak peak at her video.

Sarah is a very talented photographer, I enjoy her work very much. I volunteered to second shoot for her someday if she ever needs a hand. I'd say her story really inspired us to persist and move forward, and never forget why we love photography. Thanks Sarah!

Monday, March 24, 2008


Over Easter weekend my family had friends & relatives over to celebrate my niece Ellana's 1st birthday party. My friend Marianne brought the most delicious dessert - Dump Cake!!

Please tell me if you've had this dessert before! The first time I tried it was when Marianne brought to our family Christmas party last year and I was hooked! It's like a drug... I think I just love the sweet and crunchiness together, so tasty.

Here's what it looks like...

...oopss! Hmm... it's all gone! Who's responsible for this inconsiderate action?!

Could it be our friend Jessica?

...or was it cute little Bailey?

...or it could've been my boy Nate - he's got a sweet tooth like me.

Or maybe it was the birthday girl herself? Nah, she had her own cake, but was visibly upset that no dump cake was left! lol

I swear it wasn't me! ... despite the guilty look on my face ;)

... we may NEVER know! :)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

WPPI Part 2 :) ... a looonng post

The week started off for me when Pictage forum friends got together for dinner at the Ah Sin restaurant in Paris... yum! Jessica Del Vecchio & her admin did an excellent job coordinating the gathering - Thanks Jess!!

Sarah Hodzic of Blink Photography in DC is such a sweetheart! I loved getting to know her better, she's so fun to hang with.

Alex Abercrombie (Orange County, CA) and Chad Franz of Eclipse-Photography (Indianapolis, IN) are two talented photographers I had the pleasure of meeting at Ah Sin.

David Burke, Ray Santana ("uncle Ray"), Erin Harvey & I at the WPPI trade show... ;)
Thanks to Kenny Kim for letting me borrow this photo!

... borrowed this from Ray's blog :)

More photos, thanks to Kenny Kim! The photo booth was way too fun for any of us to pass up... it really brought out the best of us, ya think? ... poor Erin... David said it'll help build character, lol.

I think there were actually 8 of us in here!!
Top row (L-R): Kenny Kim, Julie Morris, David Burke, Shane Melenbacker
Bottom row (L-R): Erin Harvey, Me, Geoff Johnson, Erin Melenbacker (Shane's wife)

Lunch with Mary Beth Tyson and Amy Martin at Paris Hotel, thanks to Erin for the photo!

[b]ecker did some fun headshots outside the Paris Hotel

Mariah & Trish of Snap!Photography found me through my blogging. It was so awesome to meet them in person. Check out their fabulous work on their website,!!

The Bellagio has a pretty cool fountain show

Just a cool spot I wanted to shoot real quick inside Club Risque

Folks from the Digital Wedding Forums organized a wedding fashion shoot on Las Vegas Blvd.

Erin's new "man" that she met inside the Venetian hotel, lol

Outside the Luxor hotel

Inside the Luxor

THE Hotel at Mandalay Bay is where [b]ecker had his party

And of course [b]ecker had the trusty photo booth in his suite, complete with props!
Thanks to David Burke for this pic!

Love the night shots here!

New York, New York hotel resort on Las Vegas Blvd ... yes it's a real hotel :)

Outside Bally's Hotel

Caesar's Palace!

A view of Treasure Island hotel from the Venetian

Gondola rides happen inside the Venetian

Photo of the ceiling inside the Bellagio hotel

The Las Vegas monorail system makes getting around a little easier :)

Looking forward to WPPI 2009!!!