Senior and Family Portraits that are all about you!


Is Your Senior Worth It?

One of the things I am finding in the photography business, is that there are many people who are “price-orientated.”  They only want the cheapest they can get, without having to spend much.

Unfortunately, when it comes to portraits, and specifically senior portraits, there ought to more value placed on what you’re getting.  The question one has to ask themself is, “Are my kids’ senior portraits worth nothing to me, so that I am unwilling to invest in them?”  Senior portraits ought to be worth a lot to parents.  They represent the last bit of their childhood.  After graduation, they’re all grown up.  Is the memory that parents want of their kid’s childhood to be some slightly out-of-focus snapshot taken in the back yard?  Or do parents want a piece of art, a collection of images that will be for the next several years displayed prominently in their living room?  Are not kids worth an investment, especially concerning the memories of their last year in high school?

In my senior year, many years ago, I was faced with that same choice.  I, being the “good” kid, the one concerned about my parents’ finances, went with the cheapest “photographer” I could find.  To this day, I don’t even remember his name.  The thing I do remember is that the experience flat out sucked!  He had no clue what he was doing, didn’t know how to pose me, or what shots to take.  He had me decide everything!  And then, when I received my pictures, they sucked even worse!  I am not one to live with regrets, but I have one, it is that I choose the cheapest route, instead of investing in something that should have been worth much much more!

To this day I do not have one of my senior pictures.  My parents were even greatly disappointed in the experience and results!  They made a decision that for my 2 younger brothers, they were not going to skimp on their senior pictures.

With that experience in mind, I offer much more than senior pictures.  I want to create memories that will last a lifetime for you and your family!  I want to give you an experience like nothing else!  I want you to be not just excited, but thrilled beyond measure with the experience of “getting” your senior pictures done.  I want to make some art that will be displayed in your home prominently for years to come.  So that every time you look at it, you will fondly remember your child’s youth; something that will be much more than just nostalgic for you!

I work very hard to research shooting locations, styles, and every thing that goes into making the session personal and extraordinary.  I offer unique images that you will not get anywhere else.  Think of how excited your senior will be when his/her images are vastly different than all the rest of their classmates!  Most every kid wants to be famous.  I try to make them feel that way with the experience they will get from me!

The experience you will get with me is personalized.  It is not a one-size-fits-all deal.  I will listen to you and to your wants and needs.  I will help you to see that your child’s senior pictures are much more than just some snapshots in the back yard.  I will take the time to create something for you and your family that will be a worthy investment into your high school senior.  After all, isn’t your senior worth it?

Thinking hurts…at least for me!

And that is what I’ve been doing for the past few months.  Thinking…and thinking…and…well you get the picture.

I have made no qualms about it before.  I am a pastor, husband, and father.  Not necessarily in that order.  I came to Sheridan over 4 years ago to pastor a church.  But I’ve learned, sometimes we have to expand beyond what we are.  I love photography; there is no doubt about that.  It runs a close second to pastoring the church.

So I spent this past summer contemplating whether I wanted to pursue photography in any way.  Do I want it to be a second job?  A second career?  Or not mess with it at all?  I did nothing in regards to it at all this summer.  No new blog posts.  No Facebook updates.  No portrait sessions.  Nothing.

I’ve come to the conclusion despite all that, that I do want to pursue photography. Why not?  The Apostle Paul was a tent maker.  He did what he could to meet his needs.  God provides us opportunities to have jobs and earn money.  Why can’t I be both a pastor and a photographer?

It is after much prayer and…thinking…that I have decided to pursue photography with all that I can.  It will be exhausting.  I will not take away from pastoring in any way.  I will just have to do both to the best of my ability.  I believe with God’s help, I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me!

First things first, I am looking for a motivated high school student who still needs his/her senior pictures done to be my representative at their school.  You will earn free things and money for referring other students to me for their senior pictures.  You will get a free mini-session to get some pictures for your referral cards.  You will then have a full session at a later date of your choice to get any pictures you want done.  This can be earned free with just 3 referrals!  It all depends on you as to how much you earn!  You will receive 50 referral cards to pass out to your friends.  If they bring that card to me and get their senior pictures done, that counts for you and earns you money!

It won’t be too hard; your pictures should sell themselves.  Call or email me for more info if you are, or know someone who is, interested!  Don’t wait, time is running out!

Want Some Portrait Stuff?

Who doesn’t like free stuff?  Anyone?

Well, I’m giving away some things this month.  To enter, you just have to (1) go to my new Panther Photography Facebook page and click “Like”, and (2) send me an email with your name, address, phone number, and email address.  That’s it.  The drawing will be held on Friday, May 27th.  I will be using a random number generator to determine the winner.  That’s about as fair as I can get!

What about the prizes?

1st Prize will be a free Gravelly Portrait Session with yours truly! ($250 value)

The Gravelly Session includes an initial consultation to discuss ideas and locations,
3-4 hours of shooting time, unlimited total outfits, advanced retouching, the in-person purchasing consultation with 35-50 images to select from, one (1) image sent to your high school for the yearbook, and five (5) low resolution images for your Facebook profile. As many different locations as we can get to will be permitted with this session.

2nd Prize will be a free 11×14 fine art canvas ($200 value)

The downside is, you have to have a photo shoot with me.  But I’ll throw in a free mini-session to get a good picture for that canvas that will look stunning on that wall in your house.

3rd Prize is a free 8×8 in press printed photo book ($140 value)

Again, the downside is, you have to have a photo shoot with me.  And since a photo book starts out with 20 slides, you’ll have to book at least a Rubies photo session with me.  But still, a free high quality photo book thrown in!  Not too bad of a deal!

Don’t forget!  To enter, you just have to (1) go to my new Panther Photography Facebook page and click “Like”, and (2) send me an email with your name, address, phone number, and email address. My email address is: eric(at)pantherphotosonline(dot)com.  Of course, supply the necessary punctuation (@ and . ) to the address.  Don’t spell it out like I did!

Hurry, you only have a little over a week to enter!  Don’t wait, do it right now!  Quit reading this post, and go register.  How come you’re still reading?  Why haven’t you entered this drawing yet?  Well, come on!  What are you waiting for?

Annie – Senior 2011

I’m finally getting around to updating this a bit, with some not-so-new images.  These are from Annie‘s session last September.  But since I started this blog late last year, these were never shown here.  Annie is a very sweet cheerful gal!  She is a member of FCCLA (Family Career Community Leaders of America) and is the captain of the cheerleading squad.

We had a good time on her shoot, using several different locations in this beautiful valley in which we live.  The scenic backgrounds here are gorgeous!  We were very blessed to have a beautiful sunset as well.  I hope you enjoy these images!

Download Free PS Action From MCP!

MCP Actions is a great resource to get some very awesome actions for Photoshop!  MCP is run by Jodi Friedman.  If you want to improve your photos and processing workflow, MCP Actions is the place to go!

I’ve downloaded a number of their actions and have found them to be absolutely wonderful!  There are two that I use all the time: her Facebook actions and her High Definition Sharpening.  Other actions I have and use are: Touch of Light, Touch of Darkness, and the one I just downloaded, Mini-Fusion.

You can download the Mini-Fusion action from MCP now for free!  It is a small preview of their upcoming Fusion action set that is due to be released in March.  Here is a little bit about Mini-Fusion from the MCP blog:

“With just one click, you can inject new life into your photos and enjoy stunning color conversions. Optional tints and exposure fix layers let you customize your images to get the look you want. Download this action in one of two ways: from the MCP Facebook Page (“Exclusive” button under the profile image) or from our website.”

If you use Photoshop and want some valuable resources to help improve your post processing, then MCP Actions is the way to go!

Daijha – Purple Gel

This is the revised version of my earlier shot, but now with some changes I wanted to implement.  At least in this one, she is in her game jersey.  In retrospect, I wish I had composed it a little differently.

Lighting Info:
Key Light: 1x YN560 in a 40″ SK umbrella softbox, at 1/2 power, with a 1/4 CTO gel, camera left, about 5-6 feet away, and raised about 2 feet above Daijha

Hair Light: 1x YN460 at 1/16 power, bare, on a light stand behind Daijha

Background Light: 1x YN560, bare, on a light stand, at full power, zoomed to 105mm, with a snoot, and gelled with an indigo gel

All flashes triggered by Cactus V5 triggers.

Camera Info:
Camera: Canon 1D Mark II
Lens: Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8
Shutter Speed: 1/250
Aperture: f/2.8
ISO 50
Focal Length: 51mm

Basketball Portrait Idea

Daijha let me “experiment” with some ideas I have for senior portraits.

This is pretty close to what I had conceived in my mind, but there are some things I would try differently.  That is the way to learn!  I wanted her in her game jersey, but the room the uniforms are in was locked.  We’ll do that for next time.

It comes close to what I have envisioned.  I will have to use a snoot to concentrate the flash on the Panther logo a little better.

I used two flashes for this, both Yongnuo YN560’s, triggered with my new Cactus V5’s.

There was one camera left, on Daijha, at 1/8th power, gelled with a 1/4 CTO gel.

Second flash was about 30 feet behind Daijha pointed at the Panther mural at 1/4 power zoomed to 105mm, gelled with an indigo gel.

This was taken with my Canon 1D Mark II and Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 lens.  Camera settings were:
1/250, f/2.8, ISO 50, Focal length 55mm