On Saturday night you would have found Marcus and I at the 2013 Harcourts Foundation Butterfly Ball at the Sofitel Brisbane. Many of you know this is an event close to our hearts and one I have been personally involved in organising in past years. This year, Studio Impressions donated our photographic services, providing the event photography and running a Photobooth where guests got to pose for a fun photo in return for a small donation back to this worthwhile charity. The Butterfly Ball raises funds for the Butterfly Babies Foundation supporting perinatal research, in particular research into the brain development of pre-term and newborn babies. So why is this important? When a baby is born premature, or when a baby is placed on oxygen a birth, their brain development is often affected. They may suffer from autism, cerebral palsy, blindness or simply learning difficulties as they get older. If we can find a way to protect a baby’s brain in its first few minutes of life, we can find a way to reduce the incidence of these conditions and change many many lives. This research is being headed by the most amazing man (who just happens to also be one of the truly nicest people you will ever meet), Professor Paul Colditz. Marcus & I are very proud to have been able to help him over the last few years to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for this life changing work. If you think brain research sounds all a little bit unrealistic, trust me, for some, it can be all too real. Let me put it this way, we got involved when our twin boys were born and we were faced with this:
Today, we have happy healthy funny smart eight year old twins. Thank you has never been enough. So we continue to support this amazing cause in the hope that one day the quality of a person’s life will never be decided by their first few minutes in it. If you would like to donate to Butterfly Babies, click here.
This year the 2013 Harcourts Foundation Butterfly Ball was a masquerade ball. About 500 guests donned their finest black tie and elaborate (sometimes crazy) masks, to enjoy an evening of fine food and wine, hosted by Ian Skippen, with entertainment by Opera Queensland’s new ensemble Qrious, and dancing to the wee hours to the ever popular RUSH Band. Here are a few of our favourite photos of the night.
Rangefinder Magazine is one of the top magazines for wedding and portrait photographers. It is an honour to get your work in this mag. Every year, Rangefinder searches the globe to discover who they believe are the 30 “rising stars” in wedding photography. These are the people whose names may not yet been known in the photography industry, but they are the people to watch. This year we are so very proud to say that one of the Studio Impressions team has made the list! Congratulations Aurelie!
We have long known the talent of our own Aurelie Beeston and over the last few years we have watched her photography blossom. We have also watched as more and more clients fall in love with not only her work but her personality. She really is fantastic. We couldn’t be more thrilled to see Aurelie identified as one of Rangefinders 30 Rising Stars. Here are some of the images that Rangefinder loved (click here for their gallery), along with some of our favourites. To read more about the Rising stars, click here to go to the magazine.
Well deserved Aurelie!
Since delving into digital photography at its infancy, we’ve always looked at ways to improve the quality of our images and to push the boundaries of the two most popular programs available to professionals, Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop to provide us with a unique look to our images. Our extensive knowledge and experience saw us being asked to become Ambassadors for Adobe, as well alpha and beta testers for these programs. Over the years, we’ve been fortunate to request certain features, some that are now imbedded into the programs, especially on the Camera Raw side. Plus a few amazing Lightroom Adventures, seeing some incredible places in the world.
It would be over 12 years since we started to create Photoshop actions to aid our very own studio and since 2004, we’ve made these available to other photographers. Working with Adobe allowed me to see the amazing power of Camera Raw files and how we could manipulate the settings to create some incredible new looks but also to replicate film emulsion looks and techniques of yesteryear. We’ve been sharing our recipes, aka Adobe Presets, that lock in all the secrets of how we process our raw camera files with photographers since January 2009. Today we are excited to be releasing our latest set of Instant Effects Presets “Flat Pack” that both Adam and I have been refining over the past twelve months.
To celebrate the release, we are having a “FLATOUT” sale, giving 20% off storewide for the next week at our Photographers Resources website. We are also releasing this new set at a very special introductory price of $29.95, so photographers can create there very own effect in a milli-second, hence the name Instant Effects. I’m a huge fan of maximising the raw data and we are providing a great intro for photographers to try it, if they have never adjusted a file before. It will be also a quick fix for all professional photographers who have always wanted to replicate these looks. Now the hard work is already done for you.
Here are a few examples of our new 25 Presets “Flat Pack” that are available for Lightroom and Photoshops Adobe Camera Raw. Most of the images below have never been published before so we hope you enjoy them.
It has been a very busy time at Studio Impressions. There has been a lot going on but there has been a couple of things that I am really excited to share with the world.
Recently the Australian Institute of Professional Photography held the Queensland State photography awards. Over the last few weeks, I have watched as Aurelie tentatively submitted images to the Queensland AIPP Awards in the wedding category. Just entering the awards is daunting – you are putting your work out to be critiqued, judged. Entering a category that your boss has won a few times is pretty gutsy I have to say. Especially when you know that the competition is going to be tough. Aurelie put her work out there and didn’t just do well, she did FANTASTIC! She was one of only 3 finalists for the category. The other two were previous winners Jonas Peterson & Todd Hunter-McGaw. It made me so happy to see her work beside the work of these talented guys, because she really deserves to be there.
And if that wasn’t enough, this month one of Australia’s leading photography magazines, Capture, listed who they believed would be the emerging top photographers of the future. Aurelie was listed as the runner up in the Wedding Category and a finalist in the Landscape Category. I have known for a while that she will be one of Australia’s top photographers in the future. It was great to see industry leaders notice it too.
A lot of people think you can start photography with a fancy camera, a good website and some great marketing. I am often surprised by the lack of experience in so many wedding photographers today. They are charging crazy prices after just 6 months and just a few weddings and, often it shows in their work. The reality is that you cannot replace hard work and experience. All those ‘rock star, award winning photographers’ have often been doing it tough on their craft for a while. Their accolades are well earned. They don’t just pick up a camera and make money. They study their craft. They practice, practice, practice, practice. Aurelie is no exception.
When the people that work for me achieve something they never thought possible, it gives me an unexpected sense of pride and joy for them. I know they have earned it. When someone joins the small Studio Impressions team they are required to ‘second shoot’ or assist for many years before they are allowed to photograph a wedding on their own. They work hard. Really hard. Their job is often tedious and often not behind the camera. But, they see and work on more images than most photographers. They certainly shoot more weddings than most before they book their own. This is part of my quality control process (or my perfectionist personality). What I have found though, is that it also grows great photographers. AMAZING photographers. Photographers better than me. Photographers that know their craft. Love it. Want to do better and better at it. And it makes me proud to see them grow and shine. These are photographers that connect with the people they photograph and want them to have memories of something significant – something they might not have even noticed. To themselves, they can always do better. Adam is this kind of photographer. Aurelie is this kind of photographer. And I can see that Karen Pedwell and Gabe Veit are this kind of photographer. I can’t wait to see them achieve more than they thought they could too. It is why this is a group of photographers I’m really really proud to work beside.
Aurelie, you are a sensational wedding photographer and a humble person. You deserve all of this. I look forward to learning from you.
For your enjoyment and mine, here is a little selection of the portfolio that was judged by Capture Magazine.
I’ve just returned from the International Photography Awards and Convention in Las Vegas where over 20,000 photographers from around the globe come together for a week of learning, sharing and inspiration. Each year I make the pilgrimage to catch up with great friends old and new and immerse myself in photography from around the world. It helps me keep it fresh and current for my clients and for myself. This year I taught a 2 day workshop taking 20 photographers through the process of creating the wedding landscapes that Studio Impressions has become know for. When I first started photography I wanted to incorporate my love of landscape photography with my love of wedding photography. I wanted to use the landscape to somehow convey the story of a couple as they begin their life together as husband & wife.
We received our first International award back in 2003 with this kind of landscape image and somehow in that process, began a new style in wedding photography. This year at WPPI, one of my images, in a similar style, took out 1st place, again. Of course this isn’t all we do, and our photography has changed and grown with time, and I still love to experiment. But, it is nice to see, that 10 years on this style is still relevant and that fine art images will always remain classic, and in demand. All I ever wanted was to create timeless images. This year, at WPPI, I thought for a moment maybe I am finally doing that.
Here is the image that received 1st place this year.
This is The image that received first place in 2003, when landscapes and wedding photography combined was something new.
A lot of photographers have been asking me when I’m going to run another workshop. Well the answer is February 6th, 7th & 8th. And it will be FREE. Am so excited to be giving my next workshop on creativeLIVE! So anyone can watch it free online, live from Seattle. Just register at www.creativeLIVE.com
It’s going to be a practical workshop giving you a behind the scenes look at my wedding photography. I will be doing actual shoots & breaking them down, explaining why I do what I do when & showing you how I do it. I’ll be talking about how I prep for a wedding and what equipment I will use, including lighting equipment, and I’ll be showing you how I use post production techniques to finish off my images.
I think I might have personally photographed maybe 600+ weddings (stopped counting a long time ago), and I’ve learned A LOT along the way. So in this workshop I’m giving you plenty of the tips & little tricks I use to get the images I get – stuff you can use straight away. If you have ever wondered how we create the images you see on this blog, then don’t miss the chance to have your questions answered.
So join me online or JOIN ME IN PERSON….but HURRY………….
SIX people will get to join me in person on the workshop in Seattle. Those people will get to photograph with me & have me give them personal advice on improving their images. To be one of those six people, simply:
- Create a short video telling me why you want to join my workshop in person on creativeLIVE
- Post that video to your blog, YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook etc
- Tweet a link to your video to @creativeLIVE . Remember to include the hashtag #marcusLIVE.
BUT you only have a couple of days to do it! DEADLINE IS 9TH JANUARY! So get posting!
And please SHARE THIS so anyone that wants to join in can.