Thompson PRO Studios: Blog http://thompsonprostudios.com/blog en-us (C)Thompson PRO Studios 2015 nathan@thompsonprostudios.com (Thompson PRO Studios) Thu, 06 Feb 2014 08:41:00 GMT Thu, 06 Feb 2014 08:41:00 GMT http://thompsonprostudios.com/img/s7/v157/u225171415-o441844378-50.jpg Thompson PRO Studios: Blog http://thompsonprostudios.com/blog 120 60 2014- ROUND 2! http://thompsonprostudios.com/blog/2014/2/2014--round-2 2014- ROUND 2!

 

Quick Update:

Ford those waiting to hear about my 20-35mm f/2.8L Review, I know I was going to put a video review up in October, unfortunately, I was shooting a beautiful wedding in Butte Canon during that month, a few unforeseen unfortunate events later and the lens is broken. Sure it's probably minor, the focus ring refuses to work, but I can't find anyone at Canon willing to repair it, such a waste. So until I can figure out someone to fix my wonderful lens, the review is going to be "pushed back"

Also I will be updating several things on the website in the coming weeks, the holidays are over, and I had 4 more weddings last year after I did a my last major update. I'm pleased to say that we had 15 weddings last year, and served 17 couples. I am pleased about these numbers. This year my goal is to shoot 20+ weddings and we are well on our way.

Noticeably the biggest change from this year over last year is the fact that our wedding services aren't being offered for free anymore. But this year we are offering more and still keeping a great deal. I have updated the Pricing page to reflect this next step. We are requiring deposits and contracts starting this year, Yeah I know it's kind of a no brainer but considering we didn't have to worry about that last year, I'm very pleased with how the process works.

During the "off-season" I have been very busy accumulating more equipment and planning how best to use this equipment to allow for our images this year to make the transition to the next level. Our image quality is improving dramatically and our clients will be the ones to benefit from this the most. I plan to do some more REVIEWS on these products in the coming weeks.

Finally I suppose it's time I start hinting at this. Last year we made the successful transition for Thompson PRO Studios from a general photography/ gallery website to our current wedding based model. Unfortunately something was lost during this transition. Mainly the other half of our identity. While working with clients over the winter, I kept hearing from them saying they'd like to see more of what I do up on our website, unfortunately, TPS is a wedding photography studio, and as such there is no room for our commercial work, family photos, portraits, or head shot works, and we have done some terrific work!

So, what's the answer then? Well if Thompson PRO studios won't show portfolio work for anything but weddings, then Thompson Professional Imaging will, hope that's enough for now, keep you posted

---TPS

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nathan@thompsonprostudios.com (Thompson PRO Studios) 2014 weddings ASUKABOOK Canon 20-30mm EMK Photography FreshFotoz J Valline Photography KM Enterprises Northern California Redding TPI TPS Thompson PRO Studios Thompson Professional Imaging photography pricing wedding http://thompsonprostudios.com/blog/2014/2/2014--round-2 Thu, 06 Feb 2014 05:35:28 GMT
October Update http://thompsonprostudios.com/blog/2013/10/october-update October Update

 

So, what HAVE you been doing?

Yes Yes, I know I know, it's been a few months, well can you blame us? we've been a bit "involved" to say the least.

Facebook

On the business side of things We've refined our presence on Facebook. Our goal to make a comprehensive social networking presence has been successful, if you find Thompson PRO Studios Fan Page, make sure to "Like us".

Website

Personally I think I've spent about 80 hours this past month updating, tweaking, and refining our website. So, how do you like the new look? I'm sure many of you noticed the new home page presentation, I love the extra large full screen presentation now, plus we have not only created our "Day of the Wedding" portfolios, but we've already overhauled them into a much more visually appealing presentation. Here's one example of what you can expect:

If, you'd like to see more, and we do hope you would, please check out the others, they can all be found in the Portfolio tab above. We have also included all our videos on our current round of Craigslist ads

Product Reviews

I know that I said I would give a comprehensive full evaluation and review on the Canon 20-35 f2.8 L When I have a chance, and considering how popular that post was I WILL be doing so before the end of October. Though, as a quick example and teaser pick, take a look at these images from a recent wedding with this lens

arzate weddingarzate weddingCanon 20-35mm f2.8 L

arzate weddingarzate weddingCanon 20-35mm f2.8 L

And with these teasers I think this is a great lead into the next update

Updated Branding

Along with the new look I decided it was time to invest some serious consideration into our branding and image. We've made the transition from start up photography studio to wedding photographers fairly well, and I felt it was time to let go of the old branding. You will notice that The TPS Logo has changed, and more importantly our watermark has changed as well. One of the things that I had difficulty deciding on since the beginning was how to present my work while maintaining a level of security for the company, I am of course referring to watermarks. We've played with different sizes, and positions, always trying to find a balance between presentation and protection. Finally while browsing through the galleries at Zenfolio I discovered the pattern I liked the best, and you can see it in the two sample images above. they can't be cropped out and by trying to "fix" them all the image will be completely destroyed. Also I have to opacity pretty well turned down, I know that once they are noticed that you see them, but for the first impression of an image, they are not noticed, and that is the most important part of designing a watermark. But, you know what, this is just my opinion, I NEED to know, how does the new watermark work for you?

NEW Partners?

That's Right! I have successfully befriended another photographer who will, from time to time join our team when we are in the area. I met Emma from EMK Photography about 2 months ago at a mutual wedding we were shooting, I liked her style and her love of providing her clients with exceptional photography. We're glad to have her "under our banner" when we are in the Chico Area and look forward to working with her in the future, Click the Banner below and Check her Facebook page out.

EMK PhotographyEMK Phootgraphy

I can't leave out the others in my group now can I? First off, I really need to thank my Number 2 J. Valline of JValline Photography/ FreshFotoz without his help next weekend, I wouldn't be able to ensure a second wedding on the 19th, Glad to know, he's always there when I really need him.

Also I can't express enough thanks to Ken Miller of KM Enterprises, he's been my soft spoken giant behind the scenes, Though he knows I don't need a mentor, I still find his wisdom and experience very invaluable. And on more than a few occasions, his resources have proved to make or break a few of my weddings in the past month, if there's anyone in the North state wanting to learn as much as humanly possible about Studio lighting, I can probably get the two of you in touch.

I don't know, do you think that was enough? I know I've been lacking on the updates but I think that this one more than made up for the wait, I hope.....

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nathan@thompsonprostudios.com (Thompson PRO Studios) Canon 20-35 f2.8 L EMK Photography Freshfotoz J Valline Photography KM Enterprises TPS Thompson PRO Studios wedding http://thompsonprostudios.com/blog/2013/10/october-update Fri, 11 Oct 2013 01:31:26 GMT
REVIEW: ASUKABOOK DVD Presentation case http://thompsonprostudios.com/blog/2013/7/review-asukabook-dvd-presentation-case REVIEW: ASUKABOOK DVD Presentation Case

So, we're back with another installment of "REVIEW" This time I take a look at the quality and craftsmanship of the ASUKABOOK line of DVD presentation cases. I shot a video this time so I hope you enjoy it.

Wedding DVD Case Review

 

To accompany this video I've also taken some fairly poor product images as well

 

So, I have to say, the product is very impressive, any client who is lucky enough to have a photographer who offers such quality would be sure to take advantage of it. Currently TPS in coordination with JValline Photography includes this specialty product with ALL purchases of a wedding DVD.

 

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nathan@thompsonprostudios.com (Thompson PRO Studios) ASUKABOOK DVD FreshFotoz J Photographers Photography Redding TPS Valline Wedding http://thompsonprostudios.com/blog/2013/7/review-asukabook-dvd-presentation-case Thu, 11 Jul 2013 08:00:00 GMT
REVIEW: Canon 20-35mm F/2.8 L http://thompsonprostudios.com/blog/2013/6/review-canon-20-35mm-f/2-8-l REVIEW: 20-35mm F/2.8 L

Canon 20-35mm F/2.8 LIMAG0203-1

Wait! Is this right? Am I really doing a lens review? Yup! I am sitting here playing with this little gem, the night before a big wedding shoot mind you, and it hits me, “why don’t I do a lens review? I’ve never reviewed a camera lens before, and decided that this would be the best choice to start out with. Why? Well this particular lens is such an old one that I seriously doubt many will ever get their hands on it, also I can do broad sweeping generalizations without much worry that someone will comment that they bought this lens thinking it was better than the X Y or Z options on the market. This lens is old enough and at a price point that the only option, if you ever run across one, is whether to buy it or not, regardless of what I say.

Wait... Don't you mean the 16-35?

Well, no this lens is so old, that it’s been replaced by canon not only once, but twice in its line. The current iteration is the canon 16-35mm II F/2.8 L, which of course replaced the canon 16-35mm I F/2.8 L. Now I’ve done some research, as should anyone when they find an older lens in the used department of B&H. I had my concerns. I mean, come one! An L Lens, used mind you, for under $500? So I looked around, surprisingly, there isn’t a lot about this lens. What I have found out is that the 20-35mm F/2.8 L was one of the main professional lenses that won the proverbial “WEST” for Canon back in the beginning of the EOS era, this was when Canon decided to scrap their old FD mount design for the EF mount design that we all use today. Now up until I had researched this lens, I had bought into the idea that one of the draw backs that canon users face is that you never know when canon will make your lens obsolete by introducing another mount type. This of course is apparently done for greedy gain and all of your investments are reduced to nothing because no one wants the yesteryear models. This mind set of thinking is spawned from Nikon Users who tout their Nikon lens mounts as “same great design since 1958” I drank the Kool-Aid on this one believing that there was no reason that canon EF mounts were created other than money. After all this doesn’t concern me really, EF has been the standard for Canon since the late 80’s and for now there isn’t any real worry. Well, after doing my research I discovered that even though I was just a fledgling back in 1991, there were still photographers mulling about, and apparently these photographers remember when Canon introduced the EF system. It would appear that at the time Canon took a big risk, the status quo was adamant that new digital advancements such as AF would be a fad appealing only to the consumer level end user. Nikon bought into this line that the true professional would not need AF or other electronic information, and that it would be too costly for such a small potential market. Canon took the risky approach, they foresaw the end of the traditional lens mount, they decided that in order to accommodate the next generation of photographic advancements there would be a need for a lens whose foundation is designed for electronic circuitry, motors and information. The EF mount was created not from the scraps of the old FD mount, but around the circuit at the bottom of the lens mount. Now Nikon has caught up with canon and was able to keep the old mount design, but at the time Nikon and canon were playing in two completely different leagues. Canon was able to freely design it’s lenses with its new mount whose architecture was created to allow for such advancements, while Nikon was stuck literally years behind trying to solve fundamental physics dilemmas that in the end they could not overcome. We don’t see this today, because after about a decade Nikon finally figured it out and of course makes some of the best lenses in the world, but ask anyone, if they’d put a 20 year old Nikon lens on a digital camera today, and the answer would be no.

Canon 20-35mm F/2.8 LIMAG0204-1 - Copy This leads me to my worry, are the canon L series lenses from yesteryear as good today as they were back in the 90’s? every review I read, about a dozen or so, said roughly the same thing, Comparable to today’s models in every way except for a few minor draw backs

  1. Af Noise
  2. Not quite the same focal range
  3. Not full time manual
  4. Noticeable vignetting wide open
  5. Rare, unacceptable flaring wide open

Aside from these draw backs I found the most common appealing aspect for this lens was

  1. All metal Build construction, or (they don’t make ‘em like this anymore)
  2. Faster AF system, (not silent, but still deadly)
  3. No vignetting issues on a crop body
  4. Flairs and ghost, though more noticeable, are more rare than newer models
  5. Noticeably sharper more often than not
  6. Cheap!!!!!!!

Of course there were more but from what I found, this seemed to be the consensus, so I took the plunge, what the heck, $445 for an 8- on B&H? Why not? I paid a little extra for second days shipping to get it in my hands before our wedding shoot this Saturday. The lens came home and I happily, but cautiously opened the box, disappointed that the original carrying case, lens hood, and lens caps were all MIA, B&H did however supply the basics, Sigma rear cap, and a generic 72mm front cap. As for the hood? Well the original EW-75 lens hood can still be found for about $50 so maybe one day. I began looking over the body, 8- is a quality that at least on B&H appears to be substandard, noticeable wear, dings, mechanical issues maybe, but after some closer inspection, I deemed this lens to be in great shape, sure there is some wear on the body of the lens, some paint is worn away, but the black finish is still in perfect shape, and I’d say 85% or more of the original lettering is perfectly preserved, there isn’t one ding on the barrel, the zoom ring and focusing ring are still snugly adhered to the barrel, with reasonable wear. The rubber has long since lost its tacky squishy quality, but is still rubbery enough to suffice, I may have some difficulty getting a sure grip on the zoom ring with the lens covered in oil, but I know this lens will never be an issue under normal circumstances, and considering the age, it’s in better shape than any lens I could produce. The good news is that it was probably well used by a photographer in the 90’s then sat in a camera bag for the last 10 years before being “re-discovered” and sold to B&H for some quick cash. So, my elation quickly turned to horror because if there wasn’t anything wrong with the outside, and B&H gave this lens such a poor rating, then there must be some awful internal problem, mold, mechanical problems, uncleaned inner glass, all of which I would have a hell of a time finding someone to repair this, Canon stopped offering support for this lens nearly 15 years ago, So, I’m SOL if there is anything wrong with it. I opened the rear cap looked sensed, nothing seemed amiss here, I removed the front lens cap, and peered inside, contrary to my expectation of broken inner lenses, or strange discolored stains, I saw nothing visually wrong with the lens. A quick temporary relief settled in. I mounted this ancient hallmark of Canon’s line up onto my 5D MKII and took a few test shots, the AF is noisy, especially since I have been shooting nothing but usm AF systems for the past few years. Now, I’ve shot with an old non L Macro that I bought from EBay, this was an old decommissioned Navy lens and wasn’t anything special. It had an older AF drive that was really noisy, this ARC drive AF does make noise but it isn’t noticeable in a crowded room or wile on a shoot, really I wouldn’t use it for video but it will work great in practical terms. I snapped a few pictures, the AF is responsive, and teams well with the tracking AF drive that Canon utilizes, this was nice, though I know I don’t shoot my portrait sessions in anything but fixed AF modes, but it’s nice to know that this lens is still fully compatible with today’s technology.

Turning the Zoom ring I have noticed that there isn’t any issues, the entire range, 20-35mm is perfectly smooth, I truly expected there to be some rusty spots, or a certain stiffness from lack of recent usage, but nope, everything has been greased and works the way it should, maybe the previous owner did a quick maintenance before giving it over to B&H? Either way the zoom ring is flawless. The focus ring works well as well, not quite as smooth, but I know that I won’t be manually focusing with this lens. It’s not stiff, but it is what I expected the focusing ring to feel like after 20+ years of service. Not being full time manual is actually a nice thing for me; I don’t have to worry about accidentally changing the focus while setting up for an HDR because I turned the focus ring and not the zoom ring. But other might find it a bit annoying to switch from one mode to the other just to test the focusing track, I know I do.

I haven’t seen the apparent vignetting issues wide open, I don’t know if I just lack the “eye” or if they aren’t as pronounced in the real world as I was led to believe by other reviewers. After this weekend I will know, I plan to use this lens in all situations, outdoors with little shade, in the shade, indoors, HDRs, everything. Also I won’t be actively trying to get sun flares, but I will be shooting into the sun some and am very curious how notable and common these can be.

O, I was comfortable with this lens; I knew that short of an unseen web of mold soe where in the barrel, I had won the lottery in camera gear. I took my new pride to our local camera shop to have it get a “final inspection” The guy behind the counter, whom I personally know has years of experience with lenses, and knows what and how to look for finer lens problems. He took my camera lens into the back room for about 5 minutes to “look at it under the ‘big light’” He came back and said that there weren’t any mold problems, that nothing seemed amiss with my uncovered treasure EXCEPT there was some dust on the front and rear element that could use a BRAND NEW micro fiber cloth, which I happily bought for his services.

So, now here I sit, yet again, the night before another wedding shoot, prepping, I plan to use this lens tomorrow to better explore wide angle dramatic photography, our travel itenary is pretty extensive, I'm glad TPS has several photographers to pull from, sure other photographers in the area can always hire a second, but we shoot together day in and day out, I know where J Valline will be and I know when and how to use our respective assistants, I've spent the last week devising our "game plan" Just for one night I plan to give you a taste into what quality prepping goes into a real wedding shoot.

J Valline-

  • 70-200 VR
  • 105mm Macro
  • 85 1.4
  • D600 Body
  • SB900 with extended battery pack
  • Reflector

J Valline will be in Etna with the groom and groomsmen, he will be documenting their getting ready, doing some formal and candid shoots, using his macro to get details, cufflinks, ties, flowers, and using the 85 to get the portraits, with his ability to go off camera with his flash as well has his creative documentary style being with the guys is the best use of his talents and skills, J Valline will ride with the grooms men up to the wedding site where he will use his 70-200 to capture the ceremony, and the 105 to help with portraits after the wedding

N Thompson

  • 70-200 IS
  • 85 1.4
  • 24-70 2.8
  • 20-35 2.8
  • 5D MKII
  • 430EXII with large 8x12 soft box modifier
  • 36 in diffusor

I will be with the girls, literally, all the girls, while J Valine will with the guys, I'm in Carmichael at the reception hall, with the ladies as they get ready, time is tighter due to travel distance, but I've got the dream team of seconds with me to help out, Amy will be with the bride and brides maids while they get themselves ready, joining Amy is Chrystal, Chrystal brings her own unique flare that she has picked up from J Valline, she captures the moments in a truly documentarian style but with enough creativity to give the images life. Amy's natural artistic eye, developed over years as a talented oil painter, allows her to nab still life and every detail in a true artisan style. Chrystal will be dealing with the moment while Amy deals with the details, together this power packed duo will compliment perfectly what J Valline and myself are trying to do.

Amy

  • 30 1.4
  • 50 1.4
  • 100 macro IS
  • T1i No Flash

Chrystal

  • 50 1.4 G
  • 24-70 2.8
  • D80
  • SB600 with bounce card modifier

While the girls are working on their shoot I will be in the reception hall getting images that set the mood, capturing the scene, the details of the reception, as I can, I know that the girls will be out soon so macro detail will be left to Amy, Chrystal will document the scene, so I'm free to be creative, and set up my plan for the evening's events.

Once the girls have returned, It's my turn to take over, I will be doing a bridal shoot, very classic, nothing over the top, but one that will set the stage for our late afternoon events. after the shoot the brides maids and one of the girls will travel up the mountain to the ceremony, Myself and the other girl will also travel to the ceremony, Amy will be shooting wide angles, switching between the 30mm and 50mm. J Valline will be shooting 70-220 as will myself and Chrystal will be 24-70

After the ceremony JValline and myself will be directing group images followed by the private couple's shoot. On the way down the hill back ot the reception the girls will be dropped off to get reception images, while J Valline and myself take the bride and groom to a second location for a signature shot, after the signature shot is finished, We all head back to the reception where individual styles will capture the rest of the evening events.

-Now, of course, all of this is liable to change depending on the unforeseen, but, most of this will probably be as I've laid out, this comes from hours of scouting the locations, talking to the clients, and fully understanding our teams strengths and weaknesses. I know for a fact that the average Redding wedding photographer won't have put nearly this much thought into a wedding, but TPS does this, each event is special, each unique and deserving of special treatment, ask any of our past clients, several have posted unsolicited reviews on WeddingWire, you can check out what they think on our recent reviews page. in a few days I will post some images of this wedding to better give the style and turn out of our new lens, I will give a follow up review for that lens as well.

TPS

 

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nathan@thompsonprostudios.com (Thompson PRO Studios) Redding wedding photographers Review canon 20-35mm F 2.8 L http://thompsonprostudios.com/blog/2013/6/review-canon-20-35mm-f/2-8-l Sat, 29 Jun 2013 09:20:36 GMT
Redding Wedding Photographers http://thompsonprostudios.com/blog/2013/6/redding-wedding-photographers Redding Wedding Photographers

Redding is full of amazing places to find wonderful scenes for photography, I know this because I spent years with my camera just wandering around Shasta County learning different techniques to capture amazing and unique works for my fine art portfolio. Naturally with so much splendor to observe and photograph it is of little wonder why Redding has so my photographers. This leads me into my main topic of discussion:

Redding Wedding Photographers

Do I have a problem with Redding Wedding Photographers? No, I AM a Redding Wedding Photographer, now what is the point of this article? The point is to discuss in better detail Why any old photographer will just not do. Photography is and art, like any art it requires constant practice and commitment to not only become but remain successful, and unique, and cutting edge. What I see from most area photographers who offer their services for weddings is an incomplete package. Either they have nice equipment and no experience, or they have connections, but no reliability. I've read blog posts from some photographers who claim that "Poses are what're... special any 6 year old with a point and shoot can take the 'artistic shots'" I do beg to differ, take this photo for example

Redding Wedding PhotographerMarquez Wedding Now a lot of effort and experience went into making this image work, We shot this with our $1,000 L Macro Lens with IS turned off, set at F18 ISO 100, at 1/60 mounted to our $400 tripod that doubles as a macro tripod for such a picture. In order to make sure the image was as perfectly crisp as can be we set the timer to 10 seconds on a cable release, Manuel focused on the largest diamond with the mirror locked up, We shot in raw so we could get more creativity back with our image as well as preserve the details. Now after shooting for 5 minutes, I was unsatisfied, the natural Light was too sporadic, there were little pockets of shade and harsh light, so I had an assistant hold a diffuser above to even the light coming down, this decrease the light overall so I was forced to decrease the shutter speed, That turned out to not be an option with this macro shot, so thinking on our feat, we pulled out the pocket torch that we keep handy for such time and a second assistant held that off the table at varying angles until I found an angle that didn't cast a hot spot on the grooms band, lit the phrase "hand in hand" best and helped "flare' the diamonds on the brides band in a more natural way. In total I think we took 35 Images over a period of 15 minutes to make this one shot work. Now does the claim "any six your old with a point and shoot...." stand up for this image? Well, no, not all images can be taken, but some can, the ones that don't matter, We specialize in taking pictures of the one's that do matter.

So, are Redding Wedding Photographers Good or Bad?

Like any market you will find those who excel in what they do, it's their CHOSEN profession, not something they have decided will be done on the side. You will also find those who... well... for lack of better words, do not excel at what they do, they are unsatisfied with what it is they are doing and their clients end up unsatisfied with their work. Photographers do come in a wide spectrum of flavors, just because some one has shot a large amount of weddings doesn't necessarily guarantee images will come out with passion, and retain a unique quality as they did when the photographer first began shooting. Like wise, just because a photographer is offering services cheep services doesn't mean you are getting a bargain. If there's any rule to how good a photographer is or isn't it's looking at how they run their business. For a single wedding 4 hours, one photographer, this may seam like it covers everything, but it will just cover the ceremony, and couples shoot and the group shots, if there's any time left, reception shots, cake cutting, dances, speeches, guest mingling, etc... not included, also wedding prep shots for bride and groom non existent. Reception shots before guests arrive, or the fine fine details? just won't happen, for one photographer that's just too many places to be with not enough time.

The point is, a 4 hour wedding, which is just a half day, should never be below $1000 I have myself and 2 staff members, another full time photographer that gets paid $40/ hour and an assistant who gets paid $20/ hour plus a good rule of thumb is for every MAN hour of shooting you have 2 additional hours of post production, don't believe me? just this last wedding we shot it was only 3.5 Hours, three of us that's 10.5 Hours of shooting, I spent the next week about 26 total hours sifting through about 1500 images and cherry picking the ones that required further touch up, hint they all required some form of editing, we ended up with just under 300 superb images, I didn't wish to waste the bride and grooms time looking at images that other photographers would think were fine, that would act as satisfying "filler", but in reality lacked the depth and quality that OUR work demands. For a 3.5 Hour shoot we put in a total 35 Hours with this project, my rate is the same as my other photographer at $40/hour just in labor costs you can see why our lowest price $900 can not be any lower, so how can some one else charge less? simple, they don't understand the value of their time. 

A college student who is starving for some quick and easy cash will wind up taking a 7 hour wedding for $500 and give the bride and groom 600 images on a DVD at the end of it. sounds like a pretty good trade right? Well, think about this: I see two things wrong with this. First, if the student doesn't edit the images, and just shoots away willy nilly, then you will get about 600 images, some are good many are not, the problem is that the bride and groom will need to do the sifting, also none of the images are properly cropped so a bride or groom might pass over an OK images because they failed to see the correct cropping of it. The $500 for 7 hours of work for the college kid turned out pretty good for him, that's $72/ hour plus free food, not bad, and the bride and groom will never see him again. They will take their images to Wal-Mart where the photo lab guy will give them a bunch of un-corrected snap shots that a 6 year old with a compact could have taken!

Not so good for the couple, $500 wasted, and worse yet, the wedding is a once in a life time event, hopefully... these are precious memories wasted, I can't begin to describe the number of friends and family who said that if they did it over again, above the cake, above the reception or venue, they would hire and INVEST in their photographs. So the "cheapo" photographer who gives you a CD at the end, I strongly advise getting away from them ASAP.

But what about this, it's a struggling new comer, he charges $500 for a 7 hour wedding, talks on the phone or in person for about 2 more hours and even edits the images and the couple gets a CD with about 200 images in a few days. The couple couldn't be happier they got perfect memories of their wedding and can go to Wal-Mart and get decent prints to put in their 80's style photo album, the images might come out a bit off, maybe, maybe not, but hey, what a bargain, and best of all the couple will never have to talk to the photographer again. This scenario benefits the couple. It also benefits the photographer, they get some money, for just a few hours of work, and they have really good pictures for their portfolio. Win win right? NO I still say this is a lose lose.

Let's start off with the photographer this time, sure he gets some cash but what is he charging for his time? 2 Hours before the wedding in prep, 7 hours to shoot it, next it will take at least 14 hours to sift through the images and edit them down to the ones on the CD, so total time at least 23 hours, that comes out to under $22/Hr. Still not a bad wage, but remember that is just for labor, the photographer, by giving away their pictures on a cd loses the only thing of value after a wedding, the prints, or the selling of. We charge $500 for our CD that's what we view as the worth of our prints for a wedding. We view our labor as something else. Under the model where the photographer gets paid minimally I guarantee they won't be in business long. Bills begin to pile up gear is expensive, or there's a drought of weddings for what ever reason. All of these kill more start up photography businesses in the local area.

So, back to the couple, in this scenario, over time they will find themselves lacking, the Wal-Mart pics at first looked really nice, but after a few months some one will want a larger print, on canvas, or maybe a really nice designed photo album. The photographer can't be reached, he left the are after his little start up went belly up. Or the college student is away for spring break and then has finals until the summer where he will be working part time at the coffee shop and not have enough time to deal with the couple. More than likely, the photographer didn't have the ability to get all of the images on their wish list, at first it wasn't such a big deal but after a month not having Great Aunt Nina's picture after she traveled from Minnesota is really a disappointment.

These little things, these BIG little things are what a couple pays for. The thousands of dollars to have every product the way we want them, to have every image expertly taken, to be able to have all questions answered before and after a wedding, to have options for what may arise, to be fully satisfied past any and all expectations. This is what TPS does we are the cut above, We don't know about the others, but we are Redding Wedding Photographers, we are the best priced, best serviced and the best option, give us a call.

 

TPS

 

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nathan@thompsonprostudios.com (Thompson PRO Studios) Photographer Redding Wedding http://thompsonprostudios.com/blog/2013/6/redding-wedding-photographers Mon, 17 Jun 2013 00:39:39 GMT
The Night Before.... http://thompsonprostudios.com/blog/2013/6/the-night-before It’s been a few weeks, but I’ve been busy, business has been great for us. Really I’ve been working on what seems like wedding after wedding, having just enough time to finish one batch of proofs before a second is ready to begin, but that is the life of a photographer. We shot a community wedding at “Our Lady of Mercy” and were very pleased to give the local community and the four couples getting married that day, a near over whelming option of images.

The following week I went solo, shooting a very small but poignant wedding by the river in Anderson. Even though the wedding ceremony was short, it proved to be a very unique experience getting all of the “standard” images in a compressed 5 minute window. I am proud to say, mission accomplished. The couple was fun and full of energy, I was able to do quite a bit of free shooting, able to explore more of my style, a few images in particular came form that shoot that allowed me to get a better “vision” for what I want to present to clients in the future.

Cal & Dawn

This image actually epitomizes what I have come to want for my clients. I have found a central theme in my shooting style, or rather, my creativity that I plan to run with for the time being. I like these segregated colors/ black and white/ HDR/ composite/landscape portraiture, that I’m finding I can shoot and present one or two along with the other standard wedding shots that we present to our clients. I believe I can tentatively name my found style: high contrast compositional. I will let you decide how that works, I feel as the weeks roll on I will develop this concept more and more, hopefully getting more creative ideas that will allow me to further explore my unique style.

Speaking of the future, tonight I am writing this post after spending the last 7 hours rediscovering a completely different world for photography, macro. A couple of years ago, I played around with extension tubes and magnifying lenses to do a bit of armature macro, these never amounted to anything that I could use in “the real world” But now that I have been shooting weddings I have found a certain aspect that begs and is almost a REQUIREMENT to use macro to some extent, all the little details that make a wedding unique and personal HAVE to be captured. This evening I’ve been playing with a 100mm Macro F/2.8 L from Canon, I rented it for $25 and have it for the weekend, I have a wedding tomorrow and decided that having this lens as part of my arsenal as well as my tri pod for my super macro shots will surely be what I shoot most of the day.

Saturday’s wedding will be down in Red Bluff, I have myself, my assistant, and J Valline shooting this wedding. Sunday I’ve got an engagement shoot and we have a few more wedding booked at the end of the month as well as July. Now I know this is quite a bit of travel for a Redding Wedding Photographer, but that's fine. We are up for the road trips!

Finally this brings me to a new conclusion, After June we are chargin for our weddings, just a nominal sitting fee, our clients are getting the same quality, and even better since now we can have a bit more start up cash before a wedding to invest in better equipment and to help fund the bottom line, think this is a good move? Bad move? Let me know until later

 

TPS

 

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nathan@thompsonprostudios.com (Thompson PRO Studios) Bluff Red TPS blog photography wedding http://thompsonprostudios.com/blog/2013/6/the-night-before Sat, 08 Jun 2013 05:16:34 GMT
The Cut Above Part 2 http://thompsonprostudios.com/blog/2013/5/the-cut-above-part-2 Well, Today I thought I'd introduce the second half of our new products, mainly the rest of our album designs as well as our new template designs that are already in use on the site. But first it should be explained that we strive to offer something that a client can't just get printed on shutter fly, it would defeat the purpose to charge twice as much as a shutterfly book if it was the exact same thing, we are proud of our work, and for good reason, our work has un matched quality, ask our customers, they will agree. But we will discuss that another day.

Continuing where we left off,

DVD/CD Album, Now I have said time and time again, that we do not provide a CD for our clients, well this is not entirely true, TPS does provide a CD with full copy rights of all images to its clients if they wish to buy them. The price for the CD is high, but we also include a free DVD presentation box with a small 5X7 Photo album in it, this album is paper back with 6 pages, 12 sides but folds out to 7X10 full spread and full color, and like everything else we make, is completely customizable.

Recently we have been making more and more collages,  most have been either 8x8 or 16x20, but recently a new agreement with another printer has allowed us to expand our creativity into senior portraits and VERY high quality save the date cards. This is exciting because we can now be more  of a part of a clients special day with very unique and amazing designs exclusive to TPS these aren't the same cookie-cuttered designs from shutterfly, there are made by TPS for TPS customers ONLY, a design page will eventually go up highlighting some of the new templates we've been cooking up, if you'd like to see some of our new template designs already available just check them out in the ordering section of our site, or email us at Nathan@thompsonprostudios.com, we will be happy to show off some of our work.

A new area is opening up as well for your favorite Redding Wedding Photographers we are beginning to receive requests for bids for some product and corporate photography, though our portfolio rights will be VERY limited, TPS will have a dedicated page to highlight these projects when contracts are finalized and they are complete. We can't say much more at this time, but would like to say that if you have a company or a product in dire need of an online update, contact us for a free quote and more information

I have a another wedding planned for Friday so we will have another new post on Sunday local photographers, keep an eye out for some shooting tips and client interaction strategies, until next time...

TPS

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nathan@thompsonprostudios.com (Thompson PRO Studios) albums cd dvd photography product photography wedding http://thompsonprostudios.com/blog/2013/5/the-cut-above-part-2 Wed, 22 May 2013 22:00:00 GMT
New Exciting Stationary Designs Offered http://thompsonprostudios.com/blog/2013/5/new-exciting-stationary-designs-offered Recently TPS, among all our shooting, and post production, your favorite Redding Wedding Photographers have been working around the clock to create new and exciting graduation invitation cards, We have a few select templates up on the site for sale now, and more will follow as we have time to put them up, here’s what we have now in the store.

This is our Vintage elegance, this style is perfect for a client with some sas, or an individual looking for that somethign extra, surrently our sizes offered through the site are the round 5x5 (Lower) Left, the landscape 5x7 (to the right) and the square 5x5) on the far right. The ornate shape on the left IS available, but through special order over the phone.1 - Vibrant Elegance

 

The enjoyment collection is featured with contemporary shapes and classics textures, the only option available on the website at this time is the portrait 5x7 (featured on the right) The ornate portrait  5x7 and ornate square 5x5 (both featured on the left) is currently only available by special order.2 - Marine Enjoyment

The strong Geometrical template is perfect for graduation invitations, in this set we offer all the designs on the slide, the 5x7 portrait (uppor left) has two piture options for both front and back, the Square 5x5 (lower left) is fun with a touch of elegance, also the landscape 5X7 (right side) has options for three pictures, two on the front, and one on the back.3 - Geometrical Youth

The summer scent collection is comprised of all ornate or otherwise more intricate designs that can be special ordered, call for service.4 - Summer Scent

The vintage touch collection is comprised of warm colors, perfect for graduation invites or even family greeting card, or birth anouncments, the 5X7 portrait (in the lower right) is currently the only product available for online purchase, the other ornate desines are offered through special order, call today5 - Vintage Touch

 

Currently this si what we've had time to get up for sale, we have in total over 100 designs both for online and special orders, and as our service providers grow we will be able to provide the more intricate designs for online orders as well. Check back often we will be adding more graduation cards as well as more than a few save the date cards for our bridal services.

TPS

 

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nathan@thompsonprostudios.com (Thompson PRO Studios) 5x7 7x5 Graduation TPS Thompson PRO Studios ornate square templates http://thompsonprostudios.com/blog/2013/5/new-exciting-stationary-designs-offered Sun, 19 May 2013 20:15:00 GMT
Our Lady of Mercy http://thompsonprostudios.com/blog/2013/5/our-lady-of-mercy

The 'our lady of mercy community wedding' gallery can be found HERE Prints can be ordered there as well, thank you!

 

Saturday 18th, 2013 TPS along with J Valline Photography (FreshFotoz) shot a 4 couple community wedding, the photos are turning out well, the community was amazing, they really the best Redding Wedding Photographers and opened up their culture to our photographers, thank you for including us in such a unique event

 

TPS

 

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nathan@thompsonprostudios.com (Thompson PRO Studios) FreshFotoz JValline photography Our Lady of Mercy Redding Thompson PRO Studios ca http://thompsonprostudios.com/blog/2013/5/our-lady-of-mercy Sun, 19 May 2013 18:20:32 GMT
The Cut Above Part 1 http://thompsonprostudios.com/blog/2013/5/the-cut-above-part-1 What separate your favorite Redding Wedding Photographers from the whole slew of competitors in Northern California? We are a cut above the mass, but why?

We are constantly looking for exclusive partnerships all around the US to provide better services and products to our clients. In the last month alone TPS has come on board with several different printing agencies on the west coast, one, that specializes in high end photo albums and another that provides specialty stationary. Also we are currently looking into improving our infrastructure to gain access to better print services, here on the website.

The products themselves truly deserve special recognition, and in the coming weeks we will have demonstration videos on the site as they become available. but for now We will explore the several exciting new options.

Photo Albums

It seems these days, everyone wants a photo album, and for good reason, these are amazing, full color photo spreads something to truly be amazed and fall in love with every time you look through it. At TPS we have partnered with one of the world's most exclusive album printers, we make the designs in house and they do the printing, simple, but the truly amazing part of all this is the full freedom we have to design the album, literally hundreds of book choices and styles allow for thousands of unique combinations. Now the argument can be made, and trust us, J Valline has made this argument, why not got o shutterfly? or a like minded template printer? the short answer is, sure a cheap and quick photo book can be made that would satisfy but our albums are not only a cut above these, but also can't even be compared, the photo reprinting on the pages are of the highest gallery printing, the handmade albums will truly amaze even with how heavy they are, plus our albums come with an amazing display box that will spend more time off of your book shelf than on it.

Album sizes/ styles

5x5 This is a small album, it's small, but it does open up to a full 5X10 spread that allows for a lot of creativity and picture viewing. Generally we have 20 Pages, or 40 Sides for these albums, but more could easily be added giving you a perfect showpiece for a birthday part, engagement shoot, or anything that deserves that something little extra.

Medium Albums are 7X7, 7X11, or 11x7 and open up to a modest 7X14, 7X22, or 11x14 respectively These albums start at 20 Pages or 40 Sides but can easily hold up to 50 pages or 100 sides, these are a bit small for a good wedding album, but will fit the bill for a client on a tighter budget, these fit a coffee table perfectly, drawing in the eye of your guests and provide hours of entertaining discussion, other uses would also be for clients with anniversaries, graduations, birthday parties, family reunions, etc...

Large and X-large Albums 8X8, 10x10, 12x12 The albums are truly amazing, they open up to a full spread, 8x16, 10x20 and 12x24 respectively, as well as other large non square iterations that can be ordered. These are true wedding albums, the keepsakes and show pieces that your family will be passing down for generations, the size and weight of these is truly an amazing experience. We start these off at 15 pages and 30 sides as a standard and these can go up to 60 pages or 120 sides. Plus as like all our photo albums, the design is custom made for the client, the display box with these is again something to be amazed and impressed with, truly words will fall short when trying to describe these albums, so look for a demonstration video coming soon.

At this point we are going to discuss the other new products slated for addition to our lineup, but these will have to wait until Wednesday, until then...

TPS

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nathan@thompsonprostudios.com (Thompson PRO Studios) ASUKABooks photography wedding http://thompsonprostudios.com/blog/2013/5/the-cut-above-part-1 Sun, 19 May 2013 16:32:00 GMT
The New Approach http://thompsonprostudios.com/blog/2013/5/the-new-approach Hello and welcome back, as promised, today we will continue the discussion from Monday, mainly the topic of our new approach, I will try to put it simply so that the concept will be easier to follow. Trust me when I had this talk with JValline about a month ago I thought he might never talk to me again, but for better or worse Fresh Fotoz is completely on board with this idea and we are excited to share it with everyone else.

The new approach is simply, we won't be charging for our  weddings.

Now I'll just let that sink in

And sink in some more

OK time to explain. Normally when you pay for a wedding photographer you give them $XXX before the shoot, or upon delivery of the CD, but usually it's required before the shoot. This can put a strain on the wedding budget, but I completely understand why high end photographers charge everything up front, because they know that once the wedding is over and the client has their pictures, then there is no real tie to keep them coming back for a photo album or large canvas prints, the real bread and butter of our industry. The new approach that we have figured out is simply, we will not require any deposit or upfront payment for us to shoot a wedding, actually, we will never charge to shoot a wedding, we plan to make our money on the back end of our services. Does this mean we plan to hold client pictures hostage? Well yes and no, Yes they won't be getting a product unless they pay for it, that shouldn't be unreasonable. And no, I wouldn't consider holding their images until they pay for them as a hostage negotiation per say, rather good business. The real hostage situation happens when a client is required to pay up front before the wedding occurs and before any pictures, time, or resources have been sacrificed. The couple is in the final stages of wedding planning, nerves and better judgment have gone out the window, and they are very easy to manipulate into more expensive packages, or even worse, being talked into paying some good money for just a CD. It has been my experience that most customers who fail to understand what it is they are paying for, tend to regret paying so much or not looking around for someone who really knew what they were doing and could offer premium services at a reasonable rate.

Your favorite Redding Wedding Photographers' new approach is aimed at centering around the clients desires for not just fantastic photography but also premium prints, displays, and albums they can truly be excited and proud to own. All of this is included at a price that is reasonable and affordable to the unique budget of the couple. It's a mutual exchange that benefits US as much as it does the CLIENT. Let me list these benefits one by one to make it easier to understand.

New Approach

  • Clients don't pay for anything they don't want
  • Affordable premium services are available even for clients on a tight budget
  • Insurance for the client, all images are uploaded to the cloud for years of future ordering option
  • Insurance for the photographer, If clients want prints, they have to go through you
  • Client gets a private professional online web gallery at no extra cost

Old Approach

  • Because a client pays up front, they are SOL if they don't like what they see.
  • If you can't afford a premium service or the photographer can't provide them, you are SOL
  • No insurance, clients have no automatic back up
  • No Garreteer a client will pay for prints after they have the CD
  • All online material is the responsibility of the client and look "shotty" at best

 

This should be enough food for thought to chew on for a while, on Sunday we will discuss in better detail what truly sets TPS apart from ANY area photographer

 

TPS

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nathan@thompsonprostudios.com (Thompson PRO Studios) pricing wedding http://thompsonprostudios.com/blog/2013/5/the-new-approach Thu, 16 May 2013 21:00:00 GMT
Spting 2013 Update http://thompsonprostudios.com/blog/2013/5/spting-2013-update It's been a few months I know, I understand the studio idea may have been a bit before it's time, but nothing ventured, nothing gained, and TPS did start a venture, TPS has gained quite a bit. First, even if we had to shut our doors for the time being, we did match our "6 month goal". Second, we have served several area photographers in the past with their unique needs for a closed studio environment, and to help the local community in that fashion has really helped get our name out there. Also by taking the time to look at how our small studio worked and didn't work, we are confident that the next time we open a physical location it won't be closing.

So, this begs the question, "What have you been doing the last few months?" Well, beside licking wounds, we have been busy, TPS has been shooting weddings with JValline Photography and have about a half dozen events planned over the next month or so.

The structure for TPS is changing yet again, we are going to try and apply the same model we used for the local photographers but with our clients instead. What does this mean for the area photographers? Sorry guys but we are going to be direct competitors yet again. What does this mean for the area clientele? TPS will be offering the best services and products in the area, guaranteed. But not only that, TPS with JValline Photography is committed to bring the best in ingenuity and experience to everything we shoot. This means that for next to nothing a client can expect to receive outstanding service for their event at unheard of pricing. Here's an example:

SUMMER SPECIAL: Wedding Photography

I've looked all around the north state and was originally hesitant about getting into the wedding scene, sure there's a nice potential for making good money, but everywhere I looked I saw the same tired business model: so called "pro photographers" charging a couple hundred bucks for a wedding and the bride and groom get maybe a few dozen images on a CD so they can later on go down to Wal-Mart and get some low quality images done. At no time do they really get to choose what images they want, or even get to see if what they paid for was even worth it. Now I'm not saying that the local pros out here are lacking in talent, but I am saying that the local photography scene has been hurt because of the digital revolution and amateurs who don't understand how to run a business, Photography for a pro is just that a profession, it's our 9-5 job, not just a "gig" to get some drinking money for Friday night. An event like a wedding is really one of those few "once in a lifetime" events and should never be taken lightly.

Consider this, five years down the road the CD that your images are saved on gets destroyed by an over excited 3 year-old Sure you have the stack of 4X6's you paid $30 for at the "one-hour" "somewhere" but what if you wanted more? Bigger prints? Better prints? You could call the lady who shot your wedding. Remember she gave you the CD later that night. Also recall she's never been seen or heard from again...

OK if by some chance you still have her number, what are the chances that after 5 years she still has the same computer? Better yet, did she even transfer her images from her camera to her back up drive? Does she have back up? I know plenty of photographers who once the job is done, so is their RESPONSIBILITY. The point to all this is 9instead of having a CD to give to our customers we really do need to protect the client as well as our businesses. The approach that TPS will be employing for the future is contrary to anything else on the market today, some would say radical even, but as far as a business model goes, it's the most sustainable, responsible and fair approach that we could find.

So, now that you're captivated by this, you're probably thinking "what is this new approach?" And the answer to that question.....

 

Will be answered in three days

See you then

TPS

 

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nathan@thompsonprostudios.com (Thompson PRO Studios) may plans pricing wedding http://thompsonprostudios.com/blog/2013/5/spting-2013-update Tue, 14 May 2013 00:33:51 GMT
Priceing Increase http://thompsonprostudios.com/blog/2012/12/priceing-increase Ok so the open house was canceled, for lack of intrest to be honest,however, the planned price increase has still gone through, the studio is coming around more and more each day, I've gone ahead and added a very cozy red crush background that has worked amazingly for christmas photos, an example is on thew site right now

 

Also in the very near future, I will be doing more changes to the studio, We have successfully bean able to get area photographer Ken Miles to come on board, he has some great ideas for improving the studio and in the coming weeks we will be putting these changes to good use. Most notably is the use of studio quality strobes. For now we look forward to the holidays and seeing more local photographers!

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nathan@thompsonprostudios.com (Thompson PRO Studios) increase photography rental studio http://thompsonprostudios.com/blog/2012/12/priceing-increase Sat, 08 Dec 2012 23:54:15 GMT
New Backgrounds http://thompsonprostudios.com/blog/2012/10/new-backgrounds New backgrounds? Yup! We were able to getthree new backgrounds, twow of wich are now hanging ready for use in the studio!, here's the first one

Abstract B&W

This background is a 10 X 12 mounted on our new wall rolling system, when in use, it's actually pretty nice, good quality musline and went up like a charm, not a bad price either

Grungy backdrop

I didn't quite know what it was that drew my eye to this background in the first place, but after hanging it up and taking some test shots we realized this backdrop will fit perfectly for any senior portrait shoot, the grungy look works well and we are pleased that even though this was a cheap muslin, it is better quality than we were expecting

OK so this one doesn't do well with wrinkles, and we will need to iron it out soon but even when it isn't how it should be we think that this backfrop still work is hung properly, here's an example of how you can use the background.

Both backgrounds are mounted on the wall with a chain driven pully system, want a background? well these two will quickly and effortlessly, roll down, be used in your shoot, then roll bck up in time to shoot your next backdrop, we will get our thrid drop up and running in the coming days so there are more new things to come!

The studio as it stands now, we have four backfrops ready to use at any time, the lights of course can easily and quickly move around the studio to be where you need them, call anytime to set up an appointment to view the studio, we are beginning to fill our calandar with local photographers who wish to take advantage of what we have to offer, call today!

TPS

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nathan@thompsonprostudios.com (Thompson PRO Studios) improvement new Backgrounds http://thompsonprostudios.com/blog/2012/10/new-backgrounds Fri, 05 Oct 2012 06:25:23 GMT
Studio Improvements http://thompsonprostudios.com/blog/2012/9/studio-improvements So, the last two weekends, we have been i the studio with what free time we do have working on improvments. Let's go over some of the changes

Before the Black background was straddled against the rear corner, while this may have been asthetically pleasing it wasn't the best layout for space optimization, nor did it work well with our plan for the wire management

The new set up includes the new white background running perpindicular to the black background, we also brough the balck muslin off the rear corner and ran it against the back wall. This change has allowed us to get a better idea of the layout of the studio, having the full length of the left wall open has allowed us to forsee space for a couple of background roller systems, we have three new backgrounds coming in this next week so look for another update in that department coming soon.

As for now however, I wold like to give the first prototype tour of the studio, at least what we have right now.

From the shooting perspective of the white backdrop we can see the variaty of umbrellas and soft boxes, all are hot lights, and all of them are CFL hotlights, CFL is nice because it not only keeps my costs down, but watt for watt gives out better light without emitting the heat of traditional hot lights. Each umbrella has a 105 watt CFL eminating 400 watts of equivilant light, that's awesome

As for the soft boxes, the weekest one gives off an equivilant 600 watts of power, the stronger ones are over 1200 watts each of equivilant light. The two hair lights we have are each 150 watts of equivilant light. all bulbs used are daylight 5500 K studio lights and are almost a bit cool, but perfect for your next shoot.

Also, notice that even though we have numerous hot lights, you won't find a single power cord or extension cable on the ground or in the way of the backdrops, This is due to an elaborate "zip-line" system that covers about 100 feet of span distance in the studio, all the main lights have a full 30 feet line coverage as well as 8 ft radius coverage at any point along the line, what this means to you is need, a softbox? pull it over, wat to switch from one background to another? simply move the hotlight over to where you need it. If you haven't figured it ut yet, this almost evens the playing field with a strobe setup's main advantage, portability. The suspention system ancors 1000 lb tension wire into metal studs, in other words, safe and effective.

Here you can see more of the hot light rigging, the lowest the porwer cords will dangle is 7.5 feet, well out of the range of the camera frame. Looking towards the front of the studio you can see just how much space we have to fill By this time next week that side wall on the right will have 3 10x12 backdrops fixed to the wall, another similar system will be installed in the near future running on the same wall Towards the front corner next to the bathroom/ Changing room, speeking of changing room, I am standing in the location of the main changing room, we will tackle this project soon, ie, affixing the curtain, installing lights and mirrors, and having a powder table.

To demonstrate what kind of space we are talking about here, you can see how high the ceilings are, also I though we had acquired 1036sq ft, this is what the land lord said afterall, but a quick measuremnt showed the space to be 38x38 minus the 50sq ft unuasable space, we actually have 1400sq ft! What does this mean for you? Well, now that we have an acruate idea of the space we are working with, we will be able to have more backgrounds mounted and ready to use, already knowing what the dimenions are has changed how we designed the cable management system, having the extra space has made TPS a safer working environment.

OK so that should be more than enough for now, I hope that by next week we start to get the fun stuff posted, more backgrounds and more props. Until then

TPS

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nathan@thompsonprostudios.com (Thompson PRO Studios) Rental Studio improvements http://thompsonprostudios.com/blog/2012/9/studio-improvements Sat, 29 Sep 2012 18:11:18 GMT
Studio Rental http://thompsonprostudios.com/blog/2012/9/studio-rental So, I just made a link to the Studio rental page on the site, this page should help clarify what TPS offers for the Rental aspect, it should be noted as well that we made a choice as to how to move forward with a few potential problems, mainly, Nudes, artistic and other wise and Boudoir. The TPS policy as it currently stands for nudes, all nudes artistic or otherwise is not allowed at the TPS location. The TPS Policy for Boudoir however states, tasteful Boudoir is allowed but must be cleared before any shoot, also all models must be over 18 and have a valid photo id, to be checked and photo copied before any shoot. Boudoir shoots are to be rented at a higher rate, $35/ hour. These policies are to be in compliance for our own liability.

Speaking of liability, there will be a liability agreement to be filled out by each new renting client before their first shoot. The form will acknowledge that if any equipment is broken or damaged during a shoot by either the renter or their model(s) then a flat $50 fee will be assessed to help cover repairs or replacement of equipment, this agreement is mean to tbe seen as an acknowledgement that the renter will do their best to treat all equipment in the studio as if it were their own.

The $18/hr studio rental fee will be an introductory rate, this will increase to $25/hour on December 1st, right after our open house. I strongly encourage everyone to check out the studio rental page, I have more information there on the services available for renters, as well as our policy on nudes/boudoir.

 

Now that I've gotten through that, this weekend I am working in the studio, improving the wiring issues that have been a the least an annoyance, and at worst a severe liability, I think this new suspension system I'm engineering will solve the current issues we are facing as well as give more mobility and versatility in our lighting set-ups. Also I've been researching different flooring options, to make light-weight, and cheap floor drops. It would appear that tile is too heavy, hardwood, too expensive, and lamanates might be the way to go, if anyone has any ideas, feel free to contact me, or leave a comment on what floor drops you would like to see.

In the next few weeks, I plan to get additional background frames, as well as more backgrounds, we're still trying to secure a decent strobe setup, if anyone would like a key to the studio to have full access whenever at no additional cost, call me and we can explore the details. I suppose that should be enough for now, once the cord problem is fixed I will post some images of the progress

 TPS

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nathan@thompsonprostudios.com (Thompson PRO Studios) improvment policy rental studio http://thompsonprostudios.com/blog/2012/9/studio-rental Sat, 22 Sep 2012 20:37:19 GMT
Phase 2 http://thompsonprostudios.com/blog/2012/9/phase-2 OK, so I know I've talked about phase 2 a few times last week, well starting tomorrow we are officially in it.

Phase 2 will be the time between the beginning of tomorrow when TPS and local photographer J. Valine of Fresh Fotoz will officially begin a partnership under the TPS Banner. Along with others who will help in getting the studio up and running past where it currently is, Fresh Fotoz will offer specialized insight for large volume photo shoot sheduals. Phase 2 will reach it's first goal on Friday November 30th, the official open house for the studio, that means we have just a haird over 2 months to get the studio prepeed for the event. Our goal will be to get 50 local photographers to RSVP for the event, to showcase the studio and explain the bennifits of renting. There will also be several higher profile members of the community in attendace and a raffel with everything from free photo shoots, to free prints, to free studio rentals.

So mark your calandars, TPS, Friday the 30th of Novemeber @ 7 PM, the event will be casual, with snacks and drinks, it will be family friendly, non alcoholic and all equipment will be available for demonstration.

For more information or if you would like to contact me about sponsorship email me or give me a call, of course all contact information can be found on the main page

TPS

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nathan@thompsonprostudios.com (Thompson PRO Studios) november 30 open house sponsorship http://thompsonprostudios.com/blog/2012/9/phase-2 Thu, 20 Sep 2012 06:48:18 GMT
New TPS Pricing Finalized! http://thompsonprostudios.com/blog/2012/9/new-tps-pricing-finalized Ok, so I was sitting here this morning and decided to finalize the entire pricing structure for the studio. Print ordering hasn't changed, but I have published a dedicated pricing list along with what each service provides. A link to the list can be found here, as well as the main menue bar, let me know what you think of the pricing, suggestions for improvement would be apreciated

TPS

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nathan@thompsonprostudios.com (Thompson PRO Studios) Pricing family portrait price list rental senior wedding http://thompsonprostudios.com/blog/2012/9/new-tps-pricing-finalized Sun, 16 Sep 2012 19:13:17 GMT
The TPS Experience Begins http://thompsonprostudios.com/blog/2012/9/the-tps-experience-begins        All right, phase 1 of our business plan has finally come to a close, now we are beginning to make the transition to the Studio aspect of photography, and many new changes are on their way, most notably is our brand new physical site. That's right! TPS actually has a studio! Why is this so amazing? well unlike many of our competitors in the north state TPS can in addition to shooting on location, offer full studio services. Nothing beats the quality of studio lighting, and in recent years the advent of cheaper "pro-sumer" level cameras has made the traditional studio all but extinct. Sure, a number of local photographers have studio setups in their garages, or spare bedrooms, but TPS offers the unique experience of store frontage, with all the requirements of a true studio i.e. high 18' ceilings, large amount of moving space (over 1,000 Sq Ft.), as well as complete segregation of outside, or uncontrolled light. In addition to these "requirements" for a pro studio, we offer many comforts as well, AC and heating, Bathroom, two private changing rooms and prep areas, as well as a comfortable lounge area with beverages. Of course seeing as we are now a physical commercial space, TPS is fully licensed and insured.

       Moving on from the studios for a moment, we have been advertising on Facebook for about a month and will begin an effective direct marketing campaign. Also we have several posts on Craigslist as well as a FBN announcement to run for four weeks in the Record Searchlight. Our goal is to have a decent name recognition by October. Pricing is still being sorted out, the studio fees are going back and forth, we will strive to come to an understanding of what we need to keep our doors open, while still being understanding of what the market will bear. Online our pricing structure went a revamp in the last month in preparation for phase two of the model. We have coupon codes available now, the code we will be using until our grand opening in November will be: 20freeship. This is good for 20% off all orders online as well as free shipping up to $20. Like I said earlier, we don't have our studio fees structure set yet, but it will probably be in the $60 to $70 range and will include 1-2 hours of studio work as well as some on location shots. I understand the concerns, $60 studio fees is a bit high, considering the competition charges about half that, but the quality we provide due to our studio setup, is by far cheaper than what you will find at other true professional venues like T.A. Schmidt. In the final pricing structure I am positive we will have a location shoot fee of $35 for those who either want to save money or have an exclusive location shoot.

       Another avenue we are currently gearing up for is wedding photography, I have a contract drawn up that is lengthy, but legitimate for the purposes of wedding photography, this is something most other local "pros" sorely lack, example, what happens if uncle bill who you hired for your wedding brakes his camera? Answer you lose everything after that, TPS is dedicated to preparing for everything, as should any true professional, we have several cameras, our main daily camera as well as our equivalent back up, and an additional back up past that, for any event, even senior portraits. our pricing on wedding fees is set, 5 hours of work at the specific direction of the client as well as a 2 hour bridal/ engagement session in the studio for $1000, the fee will result in a CD for small prints, and of course the online photo gallery for proofing review and specialty orders.

       Also in Phase 2 we are going to be starting a new advertising campaign for a different set of clients, the general photographers in Northern California who don't have the money, space, or equipment to shoot in a studio. Northern California is unique in that we have a near limitless option for location shoots, however studio photography is a valuable asset for any photographer looking at establishing their skill and trade. Phase 2 will be renting TPS out to any photographer for their own personal business needs, all the equipment in studio is at the disposal of the photographer. By appointment of course. The rental fee is nominal, $18/ hr.

Studio from the right

 

Studio from the left

       So, figuring out how to get through phase 2 is the goal of our team right now, there is quite a bit to be excited about, and there is quite a bit to be nervous about, but our goal is to offer the north state a great option for photographs weather we take them or not. as far as the page, there will be some new additions as we get the wedding, portraits, and studio aspects up and running so check back in often to see what's new!

TPS

 

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nathan@thompsonprostudios.com (Thompson PRO Studios) TPS experience begins photography studio tour warehouse http://thompsonprostudios.com/blog/2012/9/the-tps-experience-begins Sun, 16 Sep 2012 02:15:50 GMT