Success: A thought during my beach trip to Pensacola, Fl

My father Kayaking on the Santa Rosa Sound in Pensacola, Fl

My father Kayaking on the Santa Rosa Sound in Pensacola, Fl

            You would think me being down in Pensacola for vacation would give me a clear head, and not really think about doing anything except for just relaxing on the beach with my family, nope. With my mind racing and trying to figure some things out, the beach is only a slight reprieve. Maybe 4 hours of one, depending when I feel I am baked (from the sun you bad thinking people) enough. Work and the attempt to find work for myself personally and my business is constantly on my mind and not willing to escape the ignorance of the hopeful bliss I would love to have while here on vacation. But, isn’t that the normality of life when it comes to being a free-lancer? Especially when you are a creative, like a photographer?

            I have been thinking about something these past few days, after I got into a conversation with a fellow colleague and I want to throw something out there to you, the readers. Whether this is photography related to you (for those of you that are in the same profession as me), or something else that you might be into. This question really applies to anything. When you think to yourself, what is success, what do you think? What do you honestly, truly, think success is? How do you, yourself, measure it? At what point in your life do you go and think. This is something that I have been thinking about a lot over the past few days. I think I began to ponder about the subject had to do with after a discussion with a colleague of mine who has been in the business for a good number of years.

            I am not sure about anyone else, but success is a very simple thing to me. It has taken me a very long time to get to that point in life as I used to think that big success was the only type of success. Much like when you set goals, you immediately go for the big goals, and don’t think about the smaller ones you have to set and achieve along the way.

            I’ve developed an unfortunate perception these past few years that I have not been very successful in the world of photography and really in life itself in general. Quite frankly, lot of it had to do with the fact that I had gone through a really bad depression for two years and didn’t really anything was going the way I wanted. But, that was my fault. And, that’s another story to be quite frank. When I look at everything I have accomplished and have done, I see that truth be told, I have actually accomplished a LOT more than I think I did. But due to my neglecting of the small things, and not achieving my big goals in the manner and time that I wanted to, I couldn’t or rather wouldn’t allow myself to believe I was being successful.

            What I would like to get across with this article, to someone who is reading it, is that in all honesty, success is in the eye of the beholder. I feel a though that I have been successful and that I will continue to be successful and ultimately at the end of the day. Be where I want to be in a timely manner. It’s just a matter of time. I feel that is the same for everyone and that I hope it will continue to be that way.

           So, everyone, please continue to be successful and continue to dream love yourself and what you do, and have fun with who you are and where you think or know you want to go!

A Carl House Wedding


The Carl House

The Carl House

So this past Sunday, HOT Sunday afternoon might I add,  I had the opportunity to help out a fellow photographer at a wedding.  Kimberly of Blubird Photography had a wedding out in Winder at the Carl House Sunday evening. I had never shot at the Carl House so I definitely wanted to go and give it a look. You never know what bride you book may have their ceremony there in the future! This was one of Kimberly’s first formal weddings and she asked me to come help out after the bride had asked about doing some things that she wasn’t too sure she could do alone. I was more than happy to, I always like being helped when I asked so I want to return the favor.  I had finished up my wedding obligations the day before down in Atlanta with The Photo Collective, my other photography company that I use to focus on weddings. By the way, please be on the look out over at The Photo Collectives blog for an entry on that one. It was such a nice little wedding!

I got to the Carl House around 430 and we started doing details of things like the shoes, the garter, the rings, etc. After that, we split up. Kim went and took care of the girls and I went in and I went into the guys room while they were getting the final things together. After that, I went back down to where the ceremony was going on outside and just kind of discussed plans with Kim as far as were to stand what to shoot, how to shoot it etc. After that, I posted up to get the wedding party and the bride and groom as they were coming down and photographed in various places through the wedding but focused mostly from the back of the guests getting wide shots with my 16-35 that I had rented from Aperature Rent and close-ups with my 70-200. We were not asked to stay for the reception but we stayed a little bit longer to get some of them making their entrances. After that we called it a night! Below is one of my favorite images from that wedding. and Please give a look at Kim and her work on her website!

A bride walking down the aisle at The Carl House

A bride walking down the aisle at The Carl House

Lab Session at Olive Studios

Mark from "Them Hebrew Boys" flowing on the mic

Mark from “Them Hebrew Boys” flowing on the mic

So after the last blog post, which might I add had over 218 views to it (the biggest amount of vies in one day that I have ever had) I got asked by the man behind the magic at Olive Studios, Jordan Flores, to help spread the world about what goes on behind the mic at that awesome place.  I definitely feel honored to take up that responsibility and I will make sure that I give the best write ups possible about everything that goes on. And well, this past Thursday was no exception to that hopeful promise.

Jordan working on the track, being the master that he is

Jordan working on the track, being the master that he is

Jordan hit me back up and invited me to come on over while He, and the Christian rap group Them Hebrew Boys ( please make sure you follow them on Instagram If you can) made some more progress on the track that they began to lay a couple of weeks ago.   When I got there it already seemed a lot different then what had all been put together the first session that we had. Jordan had put some hours in on the mastering and was definitely making it a work in progress. I will definitely say how ever, that it sounded killer. That first verse that one of the members of the group, Flex, had put down sounded flipping awesome . Jordan however seemed to be in somewhat of a “fine tune” mood if you will as soon as I got there, throwing out sounds and adding new stuff back on to the track that he and replaced. Seemed like it may have been one of those days!

Them Hebrew Boys go there a little bit after I did and brought along the 3rd member that wasn’t able to be there the last time we all were in the studio. This was the first time that he had heard the track. When we all got situated, he confessed he was a little nervous about the type of track that it is, being an EDM based. He and the rest of the guys had never done anything on a track like this before so it was definitely understandable in his skepticism. But, once he started hearing it. he definitely liked it.

Them Hebrew Boys in a pow wow with Jordan talking about the track as they get started

Them Hebrew Boys in a pow wow with Jordan talking about the track as they get started

The session with somewhat of a huddle, Jordan let the group know how he had processed the track after the last time we had met, and the direction of where he would like to end this one along with. Looks like the EP that will be coming out at some point will be a good mix of sounds. I am excited to hear it once it does.

Flex’s verse had been done and taken care off, most of the focus of the session so Thursday it was mostly all about getting  Zo’s verse redone and the Mark, who couldn’t come the first day. Zo’s was a little bit off pace so it needed to be redone and try to get it lined up with the way the beat was. Having it be an EDM style track it was just something that needed to be used too. Zo wanted to kind of re write, line up and rethink everything to try to make sure it was on point  so we started to session off with Mark.

Before we got into the booth, we looped the track over and over again so that the boys could all get kind of “re-introduction” to it.  Since it had been  few weeks since they had heard it.  After a couple of times, it seemed as though Mark had gotten a verse written in his head so him and Flex went into the booth and started doing some ad-libbing and organizing of thoughts.

Mark inside the studio

Mark inside the studio

Once mark was ready, the door was shut and he just began to lay the lyrics.  I must say that boy can spit some lyrics. he did a dang good job at getting his verse out in the amount of bars that was needed for the type of track, he is a fast rhymer, it was very impressive.  There were some moments where things needed be slowed down and or added in so that everything could be lined up. The way Jordan recorded him in was would start and stop at different parts of the verse so that he could go back in and put it all together later. After a few attempts everything finally went well and we had his verse recorded. Next up was Zo.

Zo reappeared after vanishing for a while, He had gone off on his own to kind of re-organize his thoughts on his verse so it would fit better with the track. Zo went in the studio and tried had to get it more in line with the track, and really wanted to get it in one take. Ended up that the verse needed to be done in pieces and was a LITTLE short, I believe from what I remember it as about a two bars or so short. They were trying to hit between 8 and 16 bars just based on what an EDM

Zo sitting down after reappearing from taking a moment to get his verse a little more refined

Zo sitting down after reappearing from taking a moment to get his verse a little more refined

style track normal consisted of in its sequence of sounds.  So some things needed to be added to the verse. It was either going to be some more lyrics or parts would need to be  elongated to make it fit completely. Ended up doing a little bit of both and to make sure it sounded on point with the rest that he laid down on the verse he punched in at certain parts of the song so he could keep the pace up and wouldn’t have to keep redoing the vera all over again while he was trying to get it to flow. At the end of his booth time, Zo came out happy, and We sat there for a little bit while Jordan played with it to see some of what it would sound like. At the end of that time it came out how it should have.

Flex went back in too the booth after Z0 was done getting his verse taken care of. They want dot stat doing some ad-libbing and possibly get a hook going on the track so they can have something to kinda bring it around and hook all of it together. Which Ill be honest I think he did a great job doing. Everyone worked on that part of the track for the last part of the session I am telling you, this song that they are making, the three of them and Jordan, is going to come out so awesome. It sounds great as it is but once its all said and done, it will be great. I can’t wait and I sure hope you guys will enjoy it too. Please keep a look out.

A Trigger.Happy Evening

Group Panel Discussion at the May Trigger.Happy event located at PPR

Group Panel Discussion at the May Trigger.Happy event located at PPR

Ok I would first like to ask for you to disregard my horrible iPhone picture quality! We took a picture of the happenings last night and did a hashtag of #TriggerHappy to try and win a contest. Don’t judge it was not with my DSLR!!!

Ok so I will be honest, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to talk about with this blog post that I had planned to do this week.  I originally had thought about talking about the Indian wedding that I had second shot this past weekend, but then I realized that honestly that may actuality take a lot longer then I would like to explain so that will probably happen next week. So be on the look out for that probably this time next week, maybe sooner.

Ok, so on to yesterdays activities I will say were pretty awesome. I had been looking forward to being able to go this little meet up for almost a month. I had tried to go to some in the past but I could never get to one cause I had always had things come up or I was so darn exhausted from this job that I attempted to have that I didn’t want to make the drive.  but man was it a wrong decision. Granted yes, I have only been to one of these so far, but I got such a good feeling about it. You know how you go to some of those events, meet ups, get together’s-what ever it is you want to call them they are all practically the same thing? Well, this didn’t really feel like that.

The night’s events were focused around the relationships photographers have with the vendors throughout the time frame leading up to and during a wedding. Questions like, how do you handle the guest being in the way of the photographer? How do you approach the vendor when you need more time shooting, how do you let the vendor know when something has gone wrong.  I’ll be honest with you that’s one of the things that I have a struggle with on a continual basis so coming to this was write up my alley.

One of the most important ones in my book was how does one approach a vendor to create a relationship. How do you do this before, and how do you this after the wedding. How is it that the vendors NOTICE you? Well, the one answer I came up with and definitely took away from that question and answer part of the session was SIMPLICITY, just simplicity and nothing else. Well, I can’t say JUST that, its also making sure everything runs fluid. Making sure that the photographer and videographer are communicating with each other as well as the venue and the coordinator. Above all, in order for things to remain good, remain happy and allow your relationships to grow with not only people within your own profession, but also the other pivotal roles….you have to remain happy. You have to make sure that things run well. You have to make sure that the people that you want to work with see you as the person you want to be seen as not who you assume they see you as.

We are all busy people; photographers are busy getting their gear together, their albums and prints for customer and many other things.  Videographers compiling all of the main and b-roll camera footage together, not to mention trying to figure out how they want the wedding video put together. Not to mention both the venue and the coordinator themselves.

Above all the most important thing to point out through this interaction of the panel getting asked questions, and the panel just speaking their mind to give insight to how they see the industry is relationships. If you do not have a relationship with other vendors; whether it is the venue, the coordinator, other photographers or the videographer. Then you will not succeed in this business with out doing a lot more work then you really should. Be mindful, be happy, DO what you love with everyone else in mind. Cause, at the end of the day…if the relationships between each other before, the day and after…things will not run smoothly, on the big day and through out the course of you building your business. -Cheers!

All Day At Olive Studios

Owner of Olive studios Jordan Flores getting ready for "Them Hebrew Boys in the studio

Owner of Olive studios Jordan Flores getting ready for “Them Hebrew Boys in the studio

      I am sure many of you have friends that you have had since high school as well as people who you knew from high school, nut never really talked to that much. Well, that as the case with me. Jordan (the owner of Olive Studios) and I went to high school together back in the early 2005’s I had known him through my best friend at the time and hadn’t really talked that much.

      Couple of months ago he and I reconnected through Facebook (I saw his name on the “People you may know” thing, haha). We got to talking and I found out that he was really into video and had been for sometime. Come to find out he had been doing it since high school. He’s been doing really awesome for himself over these past few years; traveled and lived in Africa for two years. Worked and DJ’d some relatively big festivals over there. Came back, married, had an adorable kid and is doing some awesome stuff.

     Jordan founded Olive Studios back in 2004 right after he graduate high school and has taken his love and passion for music and video around the world and back. Now nestled about an hour out side of Atlanta in Monroe, Ga he’s built this beautiful studio where new and up and coming artists can have his awesome talent sky-rocket their already amazing talents.

oilve studios-8      I met up with Jordan a week ago, grabbed some lunch  and talked for a bit then had the privilege to go back to his studio and take some photos of the awesome space and take some photos of the beautiful set up. He had asked me to come and help him out a little bit by shooting some promotional photos of a couple of guys that were coming to do some work.  He had been working with them already but hadn’t had the chance to do any shooting in the studio when it came to video and photos so that’s where  I and another guy came in.

      The group that came in that day was a group called Them Hebrew Boys, a christian Rap/Hip-Hop group that  has a pretty cool sound to them. The group consists of 3 members, but that day only two of them could come in and tinker around in the studio.  But definitely didn’t slow them down!

Jordan played them a track that I had played for me earlier. It’s something that he threw together a few days oilve studios-230before and it sounded awesome. It could be taken a bunch of different ways and with the vocals on it will sound really good.  The sound is a long the lines of an EDM feel, had somewhat of a LORDE and ELLIE GOULDING feel too it with the up beat tempo, which of course all EDM has in it. The two guys of the group didn’t really write or anything to this type of music normally but they got right to writing while listening to the track on a loop and eventually just started laying down on the mic. The vocalist in the group was up first and personally I think he was killing it.  The more and more he kept putting his lips to the mic, It really started to bring the track that Jordan had made to life.

oilve studios-287     Next up on the track was the rhymer of the group, he had been pecking away at that touch screen keyboard on his phone the whole time while the other was on the mic. His turn came and he didn’t disappoint.  Having not really laid down any lyrics to this tempo of a track it was a little bit of work to line up the lyrics with the beat. But after a few attempts he got the hang of it and things started coming together for him. I am really excited to hear the end product of this track and what the two of them, and I am sure the third member of Them Hebrew boys is capable of putting down on it, Expect their EP to be coming out sometime soon.

     One of the best things that I noticed when it came to being at the studio with everyone was the type of environment that existed. The type of vibe that Jordan and Oliveoilve studios-293 Studios likes to have is that of creation, guidance and just lending that helping hand when it came to them being stuck on how proceed with the track and the sound that they were going for. Creating music is the goal at Olive Studios,  and it happens without question.

This track took a great direction of an inspiring and upbeat sound  where I know a great message will be said. I know the final product will do the same. Olive Studios in my opinion will be one of the best places that you can grow your musical talent, create musical magic and just have fun with great vibes. Please make sure you go to