Monday, January 25, 2010

Another Year in the Books!!

Happy Monday everyone...  Thats right, this past Saturday (January 23) was my birthday.  I can remember the days as a child when you couldn't wait for your birthday to come around again.  Was it because you looked forward to a birthday party? or a birthday cake? or was it the presents and gifts?  I guess as you get older, you lose touch with those emotions and you begin to think..."yeah another year older... blah blah blah."

While last year was a bigger "celebration" for the big 3-0, this year kind of seemed like one of those birthdays that was "just another day."  No big celebrations, no big plans made, no special trips, etc.  This year for my birthday I found myself sleeping in (7:45am)... only to find myself falling back asleep on the sofa again around 1pm.  The only "plans" for my birthday was a nice dinner reservation made by Melissa at da Vinci in Long Beach, CA.  Little did I know that my surprise gift that evening was a helicopter ride over downtown Long Beach.  Melissa had to tell me what we were doing before we left the house because she wanted to make sure I brought the appropriate camera with me to make sure I caught all of the scenic views.  All in all it was a wonderful evening...what began with a 15-20 flight over downtown Long Beach and the Queen Mary concluded with a spectacular dinner all planned out by my awesome wife!!!!

Here are a few pictures from our helicopter ride....have a great week and enjoy everyone!!

Long Beach,California,CA,aerial,photography
Details: Canon 5D Mark II, ISO 1600 f/5.6

Long Beach,California,CA,aerial,photography
Details: Canon 5D Mark II, ISO 4000 f/2.8 1/13 sec.

Long Beach,California,CA,aerial,photography
Details: Canon 5D Mark II, ISO 4000 f/2.8 1/6 sec.

Long Beach,California,CA,aerial,photography
Details: Canon 5D Mark II, ISO 12800 f/2.8 1/40 sec.

Queen Mary,Long Beach,California,CA,aerial,photography
Details: Canon 5D Mark II, ISO 12800 f/3.2 1/50 sec.

Queen Mary,Long Beach,California,CA,aerial,photography
Details: Canon 5D Mark II, ISO 12800 f/2.8 1/30 sec.

Queen Mary,Long Beach,California,CA,aerial,photography
Details: Canon 5D Mark II, ISO 12800 f/3.5 1/60 sec.

Long Beach,California,CA,aerial,photography
Details: Canon 5D Mark II, ISO 12800 f/3.2 1/60 sec.

Long Beach,California,CA,aerial,photography
Details: Canon 5D Mark II, ISO 12800 f/2.8 1/25 sec.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Behind The Price of Wedding Photography

I was reading the blog of a good friend of mine (Katie Van Buren) and on it I noticed this article that she had posted.  It turns out that she borrowed it from a friend of hers (Christine Tremoulet) but I thought it was something I would share with all of you. 

This is what is read on Katie's blog which was originally posted by her friend Christine.

Christine so eloquently expressed what is behind the price of wedding photography.  I have copied what she said and modified it a bit to fit what was applicable to my studio and my clients.

Most of the time, the first thing anyone asks me about when they contact me is for my pricelist.  How much will wedding photography cost. And sometimes, I know that the price tag that I put on our weddings causes a bit of sticker shock. I understand. I am not the perfect fit for everyone, and I know this. My feelings aren’t hurt.

I wanted to provide a breakdown of what goes into our costs though, because I think it is a really important thing to understand. Your wedding photography is one of the only things that remains after your wedding. You have a spouse, a ring, a dress, maybe a few other mementos, and your wedding photography. Photographers are really the only vendors that you work with after your wedding day is over. So while it is easy to think that you’re hiring your photographer for just 8 hours of time on your wedding day, you’re not. You’re actually paying for:

- Wedding day coverage
- Second photographer for the wedding day
- Backing up of files (in my case, extensive backups)
- Processing and Editing of your photographs (roughly 2-3 hours for every hour of coverage, which is 16-20 hours per wedding)
- Posting photographs online
- Backing up the final edited files
- Preparing an initial album layout
- Album modifications
- Album printing and binding
- Other items such as DVDs, DVD cases, and so forth
- Preparation of files for printing, creative and artistic edits and other enhancements
- Archival quality prints of your wedding images
- Packaging in all archival quality products
- Engagement Sessions
- Proofing and placing engagement sessions online
- Anything else that a package might include

Then there are all the other things that go into running a proper business:
- Taxes
- Insurance
- Studio space (optional, but an option I choose to have so that I have a nice place for my clients to come to.)
- Paying employees
- Ongoing education – courses throughout the year both locally and across the country with some of the best photographers out there
- Marketing, magazines, research, blogging, posting on forums, and a long list of similar tasks

And the one I feel most passionate about?
- CAMERA GEAR – I use the top of the line that Canon has to offer to wedding photographers. I have backup equipment, and backups to my backups. From camera bodies, to lenses, to flashes. I have a lot of nice gear and have spent thousands of dollars on it because I want to capture the BEST photographs I possibly can, and I want to be prepared for any situation.

I know there are photographers out there that only charge $100 to $1500 to photograph your wedding. What you receive from them in the end varies wildly. Some of them hand you the photos straight from their camera, and you take them to a lab and print them yourself. Never mind if the color is off, you’re in shadows, or anything else. There is no enhancement at all to the image files in the digital darkroom. Some of them somehow manage to provide you with not only the photos on DVD, but an album at that price. I don’t know how they do it – they must have a weekday job to pay the bills, because there is simply no way that I can crunch the numbers and do the math to make it work. That means that the time they have to focus on you is limited. Most likely, they are not paying themselves. They have no backup gear in case anything happens to their camera on your wedding day. They don’t have insurance. They think that $1000 is great for 8 hours of time – and they ignore everything else that goes into taking care of you. They can’t afford quality gear to produce fantastic images* because they are not charging enough for their work.

You’re not just paying for 8 hours of photography. You’re paying for so much more than that. Hopefully, this page helps to clarify that. My commissions for wedding day coverage currently start at $3800. Please inquire for more details and to find out if I am available for your wedding day, as I take on a limited number of weddings each year. Prices are subject to change throughout the year, and are normally modified quarterly. Reserving your date now will lock you in at my current rates. Commissions are currently being taken for 2010 and 2011. Please contact me to learn more.

*Note: Part of the magic of taking great photographs is within the person holding the camera – I am not a gear snob. I know this. Having nice gear helps. Having a variety of lenses and knowing how each lens impacts the photograph that you envision inside your head helps even more in making that vision a reality. I love my camera and my lenses, and with them I can achieve any photograph I see in my mind.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Jellyfish - Steinhart Aquarium - San Francisco, CA

Well I apologize to everyone for the lack of updates here on the blog.  No excuses, just being lazy and procrastinating on putting up new posts.

While in Northern California during the Christmas holiday, Melissa and I took a day-trip out to San Francisco to hang out for the day.  What turned out to be a beautiful day - no fog, no gloomy skies, no rain, etc we were able to catch up with some friends for lunch at Stacks before we headed out to the Steinhart Aquarium and the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park. 

This was Melissa's first visit to the Aquarium, and my first visit since the complete renovation/remodel of the Academy.  Once inside the front doors, it was not the same Academy that I had last visited while in college and everything was brand new to me.  As we strolled through the aquarium we saw some pretty interesting display of sea life, but none more eye-appealing than the jellyfish!  Watching them float/swim so gracefully through the water is very soothing and calming; and it makes for a great photo-op.


San Francisco,California,Steinhart,Aquarium,jellyfish,photography,science

San Francisco,California,Steinhart,Aquarium,jellyfish,photography,science

San Francisco,California,Steinhart,Aquarium,jellyfish,photography,science

San Francisco,California,Steinhart,Aquarium,jellyfish,photography,science

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Thank you for stopping by our blog. Miura Images began in 2001 photographing race/drift events and evolved to wedding photography and much more. Please enjoy the photos as you spend time browsing our site. Contact Us if you have any questions.

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