Amazing Picture You Gotta See!

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One of the perks of this job is the fact that we get to see many incredible images come through the lab day in and day out. It’s like going to the museum everyday! This one took the cake for today. One of our clients, Greg Stiles, wowed us with this amazing shot. The staff was convinced that it was Photoshop’d but Greg says it was just one of those once-in-a-lifetime moments. We couldn’t agree more. If you don’t believe in a higher power, this picture might turn you into a believer.

Capturing the Beauty of The OC

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It’s always a joy to see fresh talent in this business. I was really impressed with this shot by Mike Ledford of Aperture-Ink. We get to see images Huntington Beach Pier quite often but this one really stands out! Printed on Fuji Pearl, it was simply awesome.

Here’s Mike’s account of the breath taking moment.

It was early October and a good friend of mine asked me to shoot a picture for her to be printed and showcased in her room. The picture request? Something purple, a flower, and on the beach. So I set out to Huntington Beach with a purple rose and my camera. Once I arrived, the sky was clear and colorless with choppy waves which definitely forced my creativity to work a little harder.

Throughout my years of photography, I always admired those amazing images of the signature Huntington Pier with low tide creating a breath taking reflection, the sunset lighting up dramatic clouds, and the sense that really just seems to pull you in and place you right on the beach, however, I never seemed to be lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. Before I knew it, clouds rolled in and the tide pulled back as the sun set behind the pier leaving one of the most incredible sunsets I have ever seen.

I photographed this image with a Canon 5d Mark ii and a 17-40mm f4 lens, at ISO 100, f8, 1/15 sec…and hand-held. With no filters or fancy post process work, this really is the sunset that was in front of me. This just goes to show that sometimes all a great image needs is a viewfinder and a little extra luck packed in your camera bag. Although the flower is missing, hopefully there is enough purple and beach scenery to make up for the loss.

Mike Ledford
Aperture Ink

Playing Favorites…

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Hello PROs,

I’m a few days behind on my blogging – you all have been sending a ton of business our way and we’re grateful and catching up. So blogging went by the wayside so I could help make sure orders were still going out same day. 😀 I’ll make up for it, I promise.

One question I get asked all the time is “Who is your favorite client?” Like I’d tell you! Ok, fine, I’ll tell you.

I don’t really have a favorite. I mean, I don’t have one that I could singularly point to as my absolute favorite. There are some that stand out though.

I have a few favorites when it comes to their actual product and photography, a few when it comes to their attitude when I interact with them, a few because they spoil me rotten, and a few because I admire their branding and marketing so much… Really, we have the most amazing clients here at Fotoworks Pro and it would take me all day to write about each one – but I’m going to hit some highlights right here:

Jason Cohen, LA – Not only does this man tease me and make me laugh every time he calls, he is also incredibly thoughtful and gracious. There was a time when I first started here at Fotoworks where it seemed like his orders were cursed. Every single one we sent out ended up mutilated by UPS or we made a mistake that had to be redone. No matter how much effort went into perfecting an order of his, something still went wrong. And he was kind and gracious and forgiving. Jason also visits whenever he’s in town, made me feel very not alone when I went to WPPI alone, sends us the coolest spices from Lousiana and every year during Mardi Gras he sends us a King Cake. Jason, thank you for all of the above. You go far above and beyond the photographer/lab relationship and we, in turn, do our best to go above and beyond for you.

Joe Photo, CA – Joe is always a joy to have come in and pick up his prints and I relish the few minutes I get to talk with him and count myself lucky to even be an acquaintance. One time, he came in and took one look at me and said “Darling, you look like you need a hug.” And gave me one. Words can’t express how terribly I did need a hug that day and how much someone noticing and caring enough to comfort meant to me. Thanks Joe. Below is a photo of Joe being his awesome self in New Orleans shot by John & Dalisa of AltF (I rave about them below!)

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John & Dalisa Cooper, NV – I thought nothing in the world of wedding/portrait photography could surprise or delight me anymore until I saw the Coopers work. AltF is a completely different brand of photography – with highly conceptualized shoots and a fabulous touch of high fashion, I ooh and ahh over every blog post and print order. Plus, they’re just about two of the coolest people I’ve ever met. When Jon & I drove out to Vegas to have them shoot some photos for us, we were delighted to meet a couple who we felt reflected a lot about what we loved about each other. Dalisa is the driving force behind John’s artistic genius. We both often reflect on those few hours at that shoot as being one of the best times of our lives and have only John & Dalisa to thank for that. Plus, Dalisa turned me on to French 75s & I shall be eternally grateful. You can see an image from the shoot they did for us below. Above is a photo of Joe Photo shot by John & Dalisa.

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Amy Squires, CA – Bubbly, fun, girlie and patient, I absolutely adore Amy. Every interaction I have with her leaves me smiling and my day a little brighter. I love that she still does proofing for all of her wedding clients (I am a big believer in hard copy proofs)  – especially because it means I get to sit down for an hour or so and look over the gorgeous images she shoots. Plus, she entertains me after work when I get home and look at her blog for The Wedding Chicks.

There are soooo many more that this blog post could go on for ages, but I do have to do quick mentions of the following:

*Matt & Molly Snelson, CA – I don’t know exactly why, but I am smitten with this couple! I just think they’re the cutest. I love reading what they Tweet, I loved watching them shoot my best friend’s wedding and I cannot wait to meet Baby Snelson!

*Candy Cordes, CA – Sometimes Candy brings us cookies. Sometimes she just brings a listening ear and good conversation. Either way, I am always thrilled when she comes in to drop off or pick up an order. Her sweetness and support have gotten me through many a tough day.

*Jasmine Star – Can you believe this incredibly busy and talented woman takes the time to respond to her e-mail HERSELF? I am always blown away by her personal responses to even my simplest e-mail correspondence with her. Plus, as I’m sure the same is for you, her blog is always on my MUST READ list.

*Kusha Alagband – for giving me eyegasm after eyegasm. Her work speaks for itself. I truly think it is the most unique style of shooting out there right now. Her website does not do her work justice. And where I would normally rail on about how important your website is when it comes to booking, Kusha’s word of mouth advertising is SO good that she doesn’t need more than that.

*Joe & Mirta Barnet – always willing to share their vast knowledge and joy for photography – and I can’t recommend enough that you check out their blog and their workshop site. They get very natural and delightful expressions from their clients and I believe it is because they are such a blast to be shot by. I can only imagine – they always leave me smiling!

*Tom Baker – again, one who never calls or shows up without making me laugh. He’s kind, witty and does a fabulous job with his marketing and shooting of senior portraits.

*Gina Chiaramonte – I’ve known Gina since I worked at a retail lab in downtown Fullerton. I enjoy working with her and her personality fits mine really well. It’s been great fun to watch Gina make the transition between medium format film and digital shooting. She never got discouraged and now her work is flawless.

*Paul Gero – Sometimes when I see one of Paul’s portraits of a child I am blown away by how amazingly alive they look. His sweetness of spirit is what I’m sure allows him to do such a wonderful job capturing children. I am always excited when his beautiful wife and daughter come in to pick up prints and I cannot wait to meet his newest little one coming very soon!

*Ron Goodger – I know I can really let my guard down around Ron and I really appreciate that. Sometimes he’s not the best thing for my workflow as I end up spending a little too much time chatting with him, but he’s always good for my soul! Oh! And the days he brings in his gorgeous dog Andre are days I leave work with a smile.

*Jeffrey Neal – Jeff always makes me feel like more than just a customer service girl. He has encouraged me and supported me so much that my self confidence has vastly increased since I’ve known him. I really enjoy looking at his work and you HAVE to click on his name to check out his site – I love the way it navigates!

*Jon & Sheri Ogden – It has been a very unique joy to watch these two start and grow their studio. They have come such a long way over the last year and it has been an honor to stand by their side as their lab – helping them to find solutions and encouraging them in their business.

*Frank Salas – Everyone loves Frank. Simple as that. I never hear any of his peers speak poorly of him (and let’s face it, this industry is rife with gossip and slander) and I have never had a reason to be anything less than delighted with his images and his presence.

*Brian Khang – After picking up his first order from Fotoworks Pro, Brian went home and made a video blog post about his thoughts. We were thrilled! When our photographers become that enthusiastic about us, we become equally enthused with them. It has been fun to get to know Brian, his beautiful Helen, and his fabulous photography. Plus, I swear I heard his unique laugh above all others in a movie theater while watching Inglorious Basterds. Swear. 😀

*Mark & Candice Brooke – I might just still be on a high from meeting them yesterday, but I get the feeling I’m going to have a lot of fun with these two as clients. Also, I was blown away by their unique imagery and their unique business relationship – they shoot separately! While I don’t know that husband and wife teams shooting together or apart is better one way or another, I know I’ll have fun watching these two work and seeing how they come together and how they remain distinctly apart.

*Jeff and Dana Sipper – Jeff participates in every contest we have on Twitter. Doesn’t matter how big, small or lame. And I LOVE that. Interaction, community, entertainment – he’s making it happen and I am stoked that I follow @sipperphoto

There are many, many more people I’d love to shout out to and tell them how much I adore them and how wonderful their work is – but it’s time for me to begin ending my day here and so I must end this show. Really, I just wanted to express to our readers how much we love our clients and are grateful to be a lab capable and passionate about one on one relationships with our photographers. We know and care about our clients here, on a business and personal level. And for that reason, I am grateful to be known as Katie At Fotoworks Pro. 😀

See you tomorrow,

Katie

Twilight, Jimi Hendrix, Grey’s Anatomy & Will Austin…

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Today I have decided that some of the most creative things that inspire me or move me (or just simply entertain me) have Seattle, WA involved. Which for a split second made me think about moving to Seattle. Then I remembered it rains there. A lot. And I live in sunny southern California where within an hour I can go to the beach, the mountains, Los Angeles, Hollywood, Disneyland, Beverly Hills… ok, I’ll stop bragging now.

Today’s post isn’t really about me anyways. It’s about one of our clients: Will Austin.

I was so excited when Will called last week and shared his big news:  six of his photos were chosen for use as desktop wallpaper backgrounds for Windows 7!

Will says, “Working with the Microsoft team was a great experience, and I am so honored to be able to contribute my photos to their project.”

You can find more information on Will, his work and even how you can purchase a limited edition print on his website: WillAustin.com. For now, we’ll post below the 6 images that Microsoft chose for you to check out. Again, congratulations Will and thanks for sharing your exciting news with Fotoworks Pro!

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I hope you all are enjoying the remnants of summer and gearing up for a fabulous fall. Don’t forget to enter our fishy face contest! Details are posted in Saturday’s entry below!

All the best,

Katie

The daily posts begin…

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As a challenge to myself, I’m going to attempt to blog every day between now and October 5th – my 23rd birthday! Which means you have 41 days of blogs comin’ at ya…

The plan is to showcase new products you might have interest in, fun websites to check out, feature some of our fabulous photographers’ work, share a little bit more about Fotoworks Pro and myself, throw some contests, giveaway some good stuff and just have some fun. FTW! 😀 Be sure to bookmark our blog and check it out each day to see what kind of craziness is happening here at Fotoworks Pro.

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Joe & Mirta Barnet are amazing photographers and even more incredible clients. I just love getting to spend a few minutes chatting with Joe or seeing Mirta’s big smile when they walk through our door. I was thrilled this week to sit down and process a large proofing order for them and I stole a few minutes out of my workday to sift through the images. Once I started, I could not tear my eyes away! Yes, it was a gorgeous wedding in the first place (with an awesome rock ‘n’ roll ending), but it was the Barnet’s careful composition combined with the brilliant color they’re so talented at achieving that left me speechless. Below are just a few of my favorites that I wanted to share with you. To see the rest of the wedding and more of their work check out Barnet Photography at The Barnet Photography Blog.

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See you tomorrow!

Katie

New! Organic (asmic?) Chocolate Packaging!

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Hello Pro,

After several months of testing out different boxes, ribbons, vendors, etc – we are extremely excited to have settled on our favorite combination for our new drop shipping boxes. These dark brown boxes are made out of 95% recycled content and have a rich pebbled texture. When these gorgeous boxes combine with the creamy organic cotton ribbon the effect is highly luxurious and sweet. After perfecting the art of hand-tying our big fluffy bows, we can’t stop oohing and ahhing over their deliciousness! And the response from our photographers and their clients who have received their orders in the new packaging has been fabulous! It’s a fantastic way to become more “green” without losing the style and professionalism you desire.

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SAVE YOUR PRECIOUS TIME

Our beautiful Organic Chocolate Box Packaging is the perfect presentation for your client to receive their prints in. Save yourself the time and energy of receiving your prints, repackaging them and shipping them to your clients – allow Fotoworks Pro to drop ship your orders directly to your clients in our new packaging. Orders drop shipped are sent via UPS ground for $6.95 or UPS 2-day for $12.95.

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MORE BANG FOR YOUR BUCK!

Fotoworks Pro no longer charges you per box needed to pack your order. Instead we will package your entire order in our chocolate box packaging for a flat rate of $5.95. Don’t forget that on your proof orders over 500 prints, you receive FREE Organic Chocolate Box Packaging!

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We hope you’ll give our new packaging a try! If you have any questions about the changes we have made or about using Fotoworks Pro drop shipping services, please contact me! I would love to help you out in any way you need.

All the best,
Katie Johnson

Photographer Spotlight: Alisha Ekstrom of Oakstream Photography

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So sometimes I spaz out a  bit over new clients. And by spaz I mean, run all over the lab hollering “OH MY GOSH! Such and such just signed up as a new client and THEY ROCK!”

In particular, when Alisha Ekstrom of Oakstream Photography signed up I was a bit over the moon. See, Alisha and I were facebook friends and I was constantly fascinated by the fun, fresh images she posted there. I braved up one day and sent her an e-mail asking her if she’d consider giving us a try. When she put through her new client application you bet I ran through the lab like a whirling dervish (Oh, how much Sam must love having Hurricane Katie work for him).

One thing in particular I want to note about why Alisha’s work stood out to me: Her senior portraits. They’re age-appropriate, modern, artistic and well, I don’t know how she does it but she finds cooler places to shoot than anyone I know (big drawback to living in the OC – no big red barns or bitchin industrial junkyards).

When I asked Alisha about how she gets such amazing posing and genuine expression from her Seniors she said “I’m about having FUN…I talk ALOT during the shoot which makes the seniors feel comfortable…I laugh alot..I say things like…oh you’re BEAUTIFUL…GORGEOUS…YOU ROCK! This is sooo awesome….I mean it’s so hard to describe how or what I say. I am a VERY VERY friendly HAPPY, talkative person so even the shyest of seniors feel comfortable cause I ease their nervousness. I always compliment them on SOMETHING…their eyes, their hair, their clothes, their shoes….I stay POSITIVE & HYPER through the whole shoot!”

Alisha purchases her senior announcements from Jamie Schultz who I also HIGHLY recommend. I’ll be blogging about her awesome designs later this week.  Jamie Schultz Designs can be seen HERE.

Check out Alisha’s work HERE and make sure you leave her some Comment Love so she knows you stopped by!

Alisha, thanks for giving Fotoworks Pro a chance. I LOVE seeing your orders come through and even when I’m not working in the “lab” area that day, I always sneak back there to see just what kind of yummy goodness you’re printing with us!