Friday, December 25, 2015

Charity Chase - January 30, 2016

Mark you calendars for January 30, 2016 at 8:00 a.m. Sentiments of Life is proud to be listed as one of the sponsors for...

Posted by Sentiments of Life Photography on Thursday, December 24, 2015

Superhero Skedaddle - February 20, 2016

Mark you calendars for February 20, 2016 at 8:00 a.m. Sentiments of Life is proud to be listed as one of the sponsors...

Posted by Sentiments of Life Photography on Thursday, December 24, 2015

Lucky Ducky 5K - February 27, 2016

Mark you calendars for February 27, 2016 at 8:00 a.m. Benefits:Ozanam Charitable PharmacySponsored by:HSOP -...
Posted by Sentiments of Life Photography on Thursday, December 24, 2015

Let's Get It 5K - March 12, 2016

BENEFITS THE WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT..Date and Time:Saturday, March 12, 2016. 5K race will start at 11:00...

Posted by Sentiments of Life Photography on Thursday, December 24, 2015

Walk for Autism Alabama - April 30, 2016

Mark your calendars for April 30, 2016. Follow the link below to see how you can join in on the fun and make a difference in someone's life! Share the link on your page and help spread the word...

Posted by Sentiments of Life Photography on Thursday, December 24, 2015

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas to all....

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, and a safe and happy holiday season.  While enjoying your holidays, be sure to take many photos of your time with family and friends.  Precious moments and great memories are something to be treasured.  Documenting those moments will allow you to look back fondly over the years and remember those special people in your lives!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

LoDa Art Walk - Downtown Mobile, Alabama 1/08/2016

What an exciting time of the year it will be.  The LoDa Art Walk, located in downtown Mobile, Alabama, kicks off the first art walk of 2015 on January 8th.  David Bizjak and I have been invited to participate in an exhibit that will be on display at the History Museum of Mobile (  We each have selected our photos, have them framed and ready for the exhibit.  The photos will be available for purchase after the exhibit.  Mark your calendars and come visit the downtown arts district for the LoDa Art Walk.  It promises to be a good time for all!

Celebrating the arts in downtown Mobile! Explore this free monthly showcase of visual and performance arts! Starting at 6pm on the second Friday of every month, galleries, restaurants, shops, institutions, etc in the Lower Dauphin (LoDa) Arts District open their doors for a family-friendly evening of exhibitions and entertainment by area artists.
Location and directions: 
Lower Dauphin Arts District
For more information visit:

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Silhouettes In The Sun - Life on the Gulf Coast

Winter In The South... Welcome to December in Gulf Shores, Alabama

December 12th... Less than 2 weeks from Christmas, and the temperatures are close to 80 degrees.  Beautiful sunny skies, unseasonably warm water temperatures... nearly everyone at the beach in shorts and barefoot, taking dips in the water.  What's not to love???

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Photographers Beware!!! Credit Card Scammers Could Be Targeting You. A must read on my recent experience...

So, last night I received an email from a gentleman by the name of David Steele.  "David" told me the following in his email message:

"I am David,am hearing impaired. i will like to know if you are available for photography for an event and do you accept credit card for payment . And are you the owner ?.


David steele"

Now, being the person that I am, I immediately took note of the poor use of capitalization in his sentences and his misuse of punctuation and improper English use.  This made me raise an eyebrow, but I decided to inquire further.  Not everyone proofreads when they shoot out an email, so this may very well have been the case.  

I responded to "David" with the following:

"Yes, I am the owner. I do accept credit card payments, currently through PayPal. For event coverage I'll require a 50% deposit up front, and the balance will be due upon delivery of the images.

Can you give me some details about your event?  Type of event, location, date, and what you are looking for?  This will give me a better idea of your expectations and what we can do for you.?"

I received a response from "David" with details of the event that he wants coverage of.  I'm feeling a bit better about things because he came forward with more details, named a local business, had a date and time and just the right amount of details to keep my interest.

"Sounds Good to hear can you please book me for December 18th 2pm are you available for that date? What would be your accurate cost for 5 hours service ? 
Venue: Arthur R. Outlaw Convention Center.
Address: 1 S Water St, Mobile, AL 36602
will be held here in the state. i hope you can handle this for the family? i wanted coverage of the reunion dinner with brief portrait sessions of the 5 families. We have 5 families so you will make 5 portrait to the 5 families. Please figure out an estimation. I will make full payment upfront with my credit card once i have book everything with you. And please you will be meeting my private event planner he will explain everything to you when you get to the event venue alright?"

Okay... I'm still on board at this point.  Broken English, language skills lacking, but the gentleman could have English as a second language...  I haven't ruled him our YET~  Our email banter went back and forth for quite a while... I will spare you all the details, but here is the kicker and what finally validated my suspicions of this being a scam... "David" had a favor to ask of me... and here it is:

"Due to the event planner don't  accept credit card as form of payment except cash and there's no way for me to make the payment with them with my card. Then my current illness situation does not permit me. 

the favor is that I will be making full upfront payment  for the event and i want you to add the sum of $2,520.00 to the invoice plus 3% Cc company charges, you will send the$2,520.00 to the event planner  that will handle the event. so once he receive the fund, he would be able to make planning on how the event will be, so that every thing can work fine. 
   Really like setting up good things for my Family. I will appriciate if you can do your best for me that day."

Say what???? You want me to charge you an additional 2520.00 on top of my charges and for me to give cash to the event planner??? Of course, I immediately knew that what I suspected was going on right in front of my very eyes was exactly as it appeared.  I shut down his hopes and dreams, no longer carrying on any conversation with this person, and he continued to bombard my email for the next hour with one liners, asking for my cell number, telling me that he needed for me to help him receive a code, asking if I will help him...

Looking at the internet I find that this is a common scam.  Apparently pretty much the same story line is used, and there are people that get sucked into the scam for thousands of  dollars.  The scammer apparently does a chargeback and you get caught in the middle, after money is delivered to the person who can't accept credit cards, and you are the one that is out of money... from what I have read.

Be wary of these types of offers from people.  No legitimate customer would ever ask you to bill him hundreds or thousands of dollars over what you are charging to cover an event, and then ask you to give that money to someone who can't accept credit cards.  

Scammers are everywhere, and with the holidays in full swing they are eager to cash in...

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Southern Style - Photos to Capture Personality

It's not only important to take a nice photograph for your customer, but you want to capture the personality of the subject and their mood at the moment the camera clicks.  There's a fine balance between just taking visually pleasing photos for someone and capturing the moment and conveying the mood of your subject in the image you are shooting.  In this shot, the subject was in a whimsical mood, tossing leaves into the air (in between his regular photos), and the leaves falling in the photo highlighted his mood at the time.

Blue Eyes Are True Eyes....

Thanksgiving... Giving thanks for those special moments in your life...

Monday, November 23, 2015

Branding Yourself in Photography

As I am pursuing my photography career and going through the paces of getting my business fully operational and self-sustaining, I am finding out that the market is saturated with photographers.  With the use of more advanced camera technology in Android phones and iPhones, and the relatively inexpensive cost of beginner DSLR cameras in today's market, one might think that the need for photographers would diminish and be replaced with the use of today's readily available technology.  Nearly everyone has an Android phone or an iPhone capable of taking remarkable pictures, and some might venture to say this makes them a photographer of sorts.  I cannot argue the fact that I have seen some amazing images captured with a camera on a phone.  I, too, have captured some gorgeous shots, and to this day they are some of my favorite images. To the untrained eye this detail might not even be detectable.  However amazing these photos are, for those special events in an individual's life you should truly use a professional photographer.  With high quality equipment, an understanding of light, composition, and the uses of various settings on a DSLR camera ordinary images can be transformed into extraordinary photos.  Post-processing, as previously discussed in other blog posts, is the final touch that caps off the images to give that extra assurance that the images are the best that they can be.   For once in a lifetime events and special moments a professional photographer is a must.  Would you want to trust your wedding to someone with a camera phone?  Probably not...

I am finding that you can't just be a jack-of-all trades photographer.  There are literally thousands of those in your immediate and surrounding areas.  To try to make it in a market that is oversaturated with so many photographers marketing their business with the same basic photography services it will be hard to be noticed.  There is nothing there to make you stand out.  No niche to grab the attention of potential customers.  You have to have something that sets you apart from the others.  Although I haven't exactly established a niche per se, I do have specific preferences for the types of images I prefer to capture.  I don't do photo shoots in a studio.  Now, that's not to say that at some point in my life I won't do them, but that is not my preference.  Because my business emphasizes the Gulf Coast culture and lifestyle I find it is fitting for my images to be captured outdoors.  Lakes, parks, private property, the customer's backyard if they prefer, beaches, sunrises, sunsets.  Small outdoors weddings and gatherings... parties...private events... sporting events... engagement photos...couples' photos...just to name a few. I absolutely love using what nature offers us as my backdrop and creating a moment with outdoor surroundings.  Sometimes the least likely places end up being my favorites.  There are several locations in downtown Mobile that I have my eye on for urban style photo shoots.  I plan on making that happen in the not too distant future.  So many locations to choose from.  I don't want to fall into routine, typical locations where nearly every photographer in the Mobile area lands for their shoots.  I want to think outside the box and capture unique moments.

I do have a love for black and white images.  Sure, I take some amazing photos in color, but there are certain situations where black and white could highlight the moment so much better and give a totally different feel to the photo.

Although I haven't completely narrowed down my market to carve my niche in the photography world, I am working my way there one image at a time...  Until then, I'll continue my journey of capturing life's special moments and creating lasting memories for years to come...

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Adidas Commercial In New Orleans

Right outside of our New Orleans' hotel, Villa Convento, we had the added excitement of an Adidas commercial being filmed on the streets right in front of the hotel.  Lots of activity buzzing around. There is never a dull moment in that city! 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Shades of NOLA... The trend continues...

Well, what did you expect?  With hundreds of photos from my trip to NOLA, it just wouldn't seem right not to share them with you :)