Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Big Print Sale

Now this can be read in two different ways, one is a (Big) Print Sale and the other is a (Big Print) Sale. We are running the latter with a 25% off sale on all prints 16x20 and larger, including Gallery Wraps. There are some new options with Gallery Wraps as well called Photo Splits, which are three Gallery Wraps of a single image split into a series. See the image below. We are also extending the sale to include float mounts which are a thin canvas wrap mounted on a block so it sits farther from the wall. Depending how it's lit, the shadow it creates can add a unique design element to the image. There are other options for the Gallery Wraps as well, such as high gloss wraps and leather wraps. For those of you who don't know what a Gallery Wrap is to begin with, it's an image printed on canvas that wraps around a wooden stretcher frame and part of the image wraps around the edge so it does not need to be framed.
If you want a more traditional look, we just picked up a new line of frames and mattes at the PPSNYS trade show, which not only look awesome, but they are priced right as well.
The "Big Print" Sale will run through the end of April, however plan ahead and come in soon if you would like these back for Mother's Day.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Fish Eye Fun

After getting very little use for years, I've started using my fish eye lens more often for the sheer entertainment value of it. I've never been a big fan of fish eyes while working, but they can be a riot with a little bit of creativity. Flattering is not a word I would use to describe the result, but when the image drops me to my knees in laughter, it has to be shared.
I also recently purchased the Ray Flash ring light to spread a light source around the lens, creating a high fashion look. However, when used with a fish eye lens, the ring light shows up in the image creating a unique look. I did a test shot on Amanda this morning at the studio. Some people get to play for a living. :)

Jedi Master

I just returned from an awesome weekend at the Desmond Hotel in Albany for this years Professional Photographer's Society of New York state conference. It was actually the first ever Northeast Regional conference in conjunction with New Jersey. As usually happens at these conferences, my head is spinning with ideas, but that's coming in it's own blog post.
Several months ago I received a letter from PPA (Professional Photographer's of America) that I had received my degree of Master of Photography. Unfortunately, I was not able to attend the Imaging USA conference in Nashville to take part in the ceremony to confer my degree. In Albany, PPA President Louis Tonsmeire, officially recognized those who received their degrees during the banquet Sunday night. Now it's official.
I also received my degree of Accredited Photographer from PPSNYS this weekend as well.
This years print competition went well also. Although I didn't take home any of the big trophies I was hoping for, I did receive a blue ribbon on each of my four prints.
Here are the images I entered as well as a few other photos from the weekend.

Photo by Jim Ferrara

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Senior Sale

Sale Ends April 15th

25% Off Sale

Now through April 15th, take 25% off your senior portrait reprint order, personality cards or graduation announcement order. Graduation announcement come in sets of 25 cards with envelopes.
4.5x5 Flat Cards $46.50 (Reg. $62)
4.5x5 BiFold Cards $56.25 (Reg. $75)
5x7 Flat Cards $61.50 (Reg. $82)
5x7 BiFold Cards $71.25 (Reg. $82)

To get the sale price, call or e-mail the studio at or 585-393-9242 and mention the sales code SeniorBlast09.

Cole and Company

I'm getting ready to head to Albany tomorrow morning before the birds wake up to attend the Professional Photographer's Society of New York's annual conference. The trade show is one of the highlights of the conference with 50+ vendors from the photography industry showing off what's new for 2010. One of the people I check out annually is my friend Dennis Cole from Backgrounds by Cole. I went to his website today to browse what's new and sent him an e-mail to see if he was bringing a few specific backgrounds I want to look at. I also sent him an image I took using one of his backgrounds of one of my high school seniors. Within minutes the photo was up on his website as one of his samples.
If you're a photographer, check out his website for some pretty cool patterns, especially the Abstract and iDrop backgrounds.

Little Miss Maddie

A few years ago, I had the pleasure of photographing the wedding of Holly and Rob at Belhurst Castle. Fast forward to 2010 and I had the joy of photographing the result of their union, Little Miss Maddie. She was a riot to photograph, ranging in emotion from pure joy to tears and even got in a spontaneous nap. I'm already looking ahead to next years print competition with some of these.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Taughannock Falls

On the way to Cade's hockey tournament in Ithaca, we stopped at Taughannock Falls just north of town. This time of year the falls are raging with run off from the melting snow. It's awesome to see so much water cascading over the edge, even if it did look like chocolate milk.

The falls make a 215 ft drop, making it 33 ft taller than Niagara Falls and one of the largest single drop waterfalls east of the Rocky Mountains. The water then flows through a long gorge with cliffs up to 400 ft high. The waterfall and gorge is an example of a hanging valley that developed in a very similar fashion to the one at nearby Watkins Glen State Park. None of the local gorges were "carved by glaciers." In fact all of the gorges are post-glacial valleys carved by the streams that are still in them. It is the valleys over which the waterfalls hang that were eroded (over-deepened) by the advance of the Pleistocene ice sheets.


Move Over Crosby

Look out Sidney Crosby, there's a new kid in town. Cade finished off the hockey season in style at his tournament in Ithaca this past weekend, scoring his first ever goal in one game and recording his first ever shut out as a goalie in another. He followed that up with his second goal the game after that. The Canandaigua Knights Mite A team won the tournament championship convincingly. Cade's first goal came after a few weeks of near misses. He finally discovered that going to the net when his teammates have the puck yields numerous opportunities. He had several one-timers sail wide passed the goal post. My heart would jump out of my chest each time. I wanted him to score so bad I could taste it. Then it happened, in the second game of the tournament, the stars aligned. He was skated toward the goal behind the Ithaca defender when his teammate Michael picked up a loss puck in the far left corner and through it toward the front of the net. Cade picked up the puck on his backhand and slid the puck past the Ithaca goalie. I think I must have jumped 12 feet in the air, which was about a foot lower than Cade jumped. I could see his smile ear-to-ear through his mask, half-way across the ice. When he came back to the bench, he told me that after scoring the goal, he had so much more energy. Later that evening I asked him if he was still happy about scoring. He smiled big and said it was like a tickle in his stomach.

Unfortunately, I had to leave the tournament Sunday morning, so I missed his shut out and second goal. He didn't get credit for the second one because of the crowd in front of the net. One of his teammates shot into the crowd and the puck ended up in the net. Cade said it hit his stick on the way through and changed directions. Even though it wasn't as spectacular as his first goal, he's now a goal scorer and goal scorers find a way to make the puck hit the back of the net. Way to go little buddy!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Snake Charmer

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to photograph an aspiring model along with some exotic animals she works with as part of the group WILDLIFE DEFENDERS. WILDLIFE DEFENDERS is a wildlife conservation outreach group run by Bridges For Brain Injury, Inc.'s program members. Using live native and exotic species, the "Defenders" visit schools, youth groups, senior facilities and community events conducting formal and informal programs and displays. They provide interesting and stimulating information about their animal ambassadors and encourage environmental and wildlife conservation and awareness. Members also discuss brain injury issues and the importance of safety and prevention practices. While running this exciting community-based program, members work on personal goals such as socialization, organization, communication, memory retention, planning and pre-employment skills; in addition to improving their self-esteem and confidence by being viewed as role models by school-aged children.

For more information on Wildlife Defenders or to schedule a presentation or visit program, contact

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Taste of Mexico

Birthday's seem to revolve around eating. I think I gained ten pounds today, but it was worth it. I went to lunch today with Sue and Ellen at Rio Tomatlan, an authentic Mexican Restaurant in Canandaigua. I've been there many times before, and each time I go, there is new art work hanging on the walls, and the decor brings me south of the border. When I went in today, I was blown away by the new art work that was completed last week. I took some photos with my iPhone to share with you, but you really have to go in and see it for yourself. The food is excellent as well, so pull up a chair and stay a while. I don't know who the artists are so forgive me for not giving them due credit.
I started going to Rio Tomatlan in 2007 after returning from my trip to Mexico City to shoot a wedding there. In Mexico, I discovered Tacos Al Pastor, which is a taco on a corn tortilla filled with shaved pork and other things, then topped with diced pineapple. It was amazing. I have not been able to find it at any Mexican restaurant up here, but after filling out the suggestion cards at Rio Tomatlan, I received an e-mail from them that they were making it as a special that week for me. It was an amazing gesture at a very difficult time. It was the same week that we lost Sandi. We were all gathered at my sister-in-laws house, so my sister Ellen went out and picked up 6 trays of Tacos Al Pastor to feed everyone there. It was a bright spot in a dark time and a gesture I will always remember. Thank you Rafael.

Life at 40

Since the day I turned 36, I dreaded turning 40. I knew it was a downhill trip from my mid-thirties, so why not give myself four whole years to stress about it. Apparently, I made the mistake of blinking because those four years disappeared in a flash. Today, a large anvil in the shape of a 40 came falling out of the sky and landed on my head. I was hoping it would knock me clear back to 30, but that didn't happen. In fact, not much happened at all. I didn't implode or lose any limbs. My arms are still just long enough to hold the dinner menu far enough for me to read it. Something did happen though that just reassured me that nothing had changed. I went down to Steamboat Landing on the lake to spend Happy Hour with my sister Ellen. We had a nice time talking and going over some of her photos from the last year. About an hour later, my wife and kids met me there for my birthday dinner. As soon as they walked in, it was like a warm fuzzy landed in my stomach. They are my life. Turning 40 hadn't changed a thing. Going home, my eight-year-old son rode in my car with me. He was in the back seat singing right along with the Black Eyed Peas as loud as he could. I couldn't help but smile. So far, I like 40.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Kids Say the Darndest Things

We are launching a new package for our children's portrait sessions called "Kids Quotes". We do a one hour session with a bunch of outfit changes to start with. Then we send you home with a list of questions to ask your child. We then create a book from the photo session with a mixture of photos and funny sayings that your child says.

As an experiment, I asked my eight year old son a series of questions to get some funny quotes, but much to my dismay, he knew all the scientific answers to my questions. Despite his wisdom beyond his years, there were a few answers that kept me chuckling. For example, when asked where Jelly comes from, without missing a beat he responded, "Jelly Fish." When asked how lightning bugs glow, he responded, "When they toot their butts light up."

When my daughter Sarah was a toddler, she had her career path already picked out. She was determined to be a bull rider. We were watching it on TV one night and when one of the riders came out of the shoot on a very light tan bull, Sarah jumped up and exclaimed, "Hey, that man's riding a pig!"

Our Kids Quotes sessions will come with two options. The first includes the session and an 8x8 soft cover book for $225. The other option is with an 8x8 hard cover book with hinged pages for $275. Below are some photos of the two options with a session we've already done. To kick start these new sessions, we will be offering them at $25 off through the end of March.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Snow Day

With the south getting all the snow this year, when winter finally did arrive late in February, I took full advantage of it. I went to Cumming Nature Center with Stacy, who you may recognize from our waterfall shoot earlier this summer. She's great. She always puts up with my crazy ideas, which also usually coincides with her freezing her butt off. We're not done yet though. We have one last hurrah planned for her with her dress before it's retired.

Sign up for our eNewsletter
For Email Marketing you can trust