Friday Finds | Fotolanthropy

Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Finds… REVISITED! Allow us to introduce you to Fotolanthropy! I (Jody) met Katie Norris, one of the founders of Fotolanthropy at Pursuite 31, a Christian women’s retreat I was at in October. I loved her story and her heart and what she and her business partner Brooke are doing to make a difference and knew their story and company had to be featured on our blog. Meet Katie Norris and Brooke Moore, the two amazing women behind the brand that is making a difference, Fotolanthropy. Founded in 2011, Fotolanthropy is a nationwide movement of photographers and filmmakers working together to capture inspiring true stories through photography and film. We love how their heart is to bless families/individuals that have faced trials and give them a platform to share their story across the world so that others may be blessed by their inspiration. So cool! How it started (in Katie’s words): Everything changed on a busy July morning of 2011. I was preparing for a shoot when I received a phone call from a tearful mother. She was calling to ask if I would photograph James, her 8-month-old son, who had just been diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor. She knew his treatment would cause him to lose his hair, and was desperate for me to photograph her baby boy. My world stopped as I listened to her and, in that moment, I found the courage to tell her what I hoped to do through pictures and film. We quickly teamed up with a filmmaker and were able to capture the most beautiful... Read More
black x

Friday Finds | Black X

This is the Black X from Thermaltake. This is a device that allows you to take an internal hard drive (inserted in the top in the photo) and have your computer read that externally. We use this as a part of our back-up process as our way of getting images off-site for cheap. What we do, is we get home from shooting a gig, then download our RAW images to multiple hard drives with this being one of them. We then take this hard drive out of the Black X, put it back in the blue static bag that it came with (static can mess up hard drives when they are exposed) and then send the RAW images on the drive over to a friends house. This allows us to have an off-site back up in case of flood, fire or theft, and protects our clients images as best we can. We highly recommend doing that especially if you shoot weddings which can’t be re-shot. The Black X is only $50, and then you can buy one internal hard drive for around $69 or so, then just erase it when you need to once your JPG images from the shoot edited and backed up online. For $119 total you can have an off-site back up system that works great! Check it out and pick up a Black X HERE, and grab an internal WD hard drive... Read More

Friday Finds | Packing Pro

Welcome to this week’s Friday Finds…REVISITED! Have you ever been on your way to a shoot, and en-route, you realize that you forgot something critical to the session like your CF cards, your reflectors, or some small adapter that makes your entire light rig work? We have!! There is no worse feeling on the planet then leaving something behind and trying to get the job done without an important piece of gear. Well the good news is, for only $2.99 you can solve that problem forever!! Introducing, Packing Pro!     All you have to do, is download the App from the App Store, open it, then create a new list and give it a name like “Wedding Gear.” I like to create one list for our camera gear, then one for our computer bag gear for doing our slideshows at the wedding since I pack all that gear separately.   Next, just press the + button to add something to the list! That’s it! Go through every single piece of gear you bring to weddings or your other shooting gigs (down to extra batteries and every small detail) and simply check it off as you pack. Then, just uncheck everything to use the list again. Also, once you create a list, you can copy it and add a few things for a specific trip you may be taking that has alternate or added gear for that one trip. You can date the list, edit it and make adjustments at will. It’s an extremely simple program, but one that helps you feel way more relaxed when you’re on your... Read More

Friday Finds | Shoot & Sell

    ! Welcome to this week’s Friday Finds..REVISITED! Introducing; Shoot and Sell. (The name says it all)   How would you feel about adding $500 to each and every session you shoot by doing a very small amount of work? How valuable would it be to you to simply offer your clients something that they might purchase and have a high chance that they will each time you do? One of the toughest things you face when starting out shooting weddings or portraits, is how to sell products to your clients AFTER you shoot their gig. If you can’t afford a studio space (which is tough for most photogs) and you don’t want to meet in your home, then selling after the shoot can be super hard. We always say that you “sell what you show” and you have to find a way to help your clients visualize what their home could look like if YOUR images were hanging on their walls. If you don’t show it, chances are they will never buy it. Well, the problem is solved with this simple app!! With this app, you can take images that you actually shot from their session, and put them to scale on THEIR walls! How cool is that? You can have them send a pic of their space, or better yet, do a consult with them at their home and snap a pic of their actual wall, then put THEIR images on the wall space at actual scaled sizes! You can also put their images on a wall that looks similar to one they have with the pre-built... Read More

Friday Finds | Diptic

  Welcome to this week’s Friday Finds..REVISITED! We get asked by tons of Instagram Users how we make small story layouts in our feed. We do this with Diptic!   When you are trying to tell a small story of one of your clients on your Instagram, it is super useful to be able to bunch 2 to 4 images into a small story that you can post and share. Diptic allows you to easily do that with a few clicks, pick the layout, images, border and even edit the shots if you want. Then, you can open the spread directly in Instagram and start posting!   If you have a favorite app that helps you in your business, share it in the comments below so we can all check it... Read More

Friday Finds!! Our favorite Sling-over Camera Bag | UNDFIND

“We are taking time off awaiting baby Gray, but have put together our favorite Friday Finds from the last year for us all to review!”  Welcome to this week’s Friday Find..REVISITED! Happy Friday! Today we want to share one of our latest finds with you that we absolutely LOVE!!!!! If you are looking for a camera bag for yourself or a friend, this may be exactly what you are looking for! A few months ago we got the One Bag and Waist Shooter from UNDFIND and it is by far our favorite new bag to carry our lenses in when we take them out from our Think Tank roller camera bag. What makes UNDFIND’s One Bag the bomb-dot-com: – It’s an all-in-one bag: I (Jody) love the versatility of the bag.  If I don’t want to use it as a camera gear carrier, I can take out the center part (photo insert) and put books, my travel pillow, snacks – whatever I want!  This has become my travel bag whenever we go anywhere!  Once we start shooting it transforms back into a camera bag. – The multiple pockets: I love how there’s a space for my wallet, pens (yes, this gets me very excited ;o), and other nooks and crannies. There is even a netted cover on the flap where I can put MORE stuff.  I love pockets :) – Comfort: The shoulder strap is awesome!  It’s not only padded well but also has give to it when I walk. Love, love, love. – Different Looks: Of course here are swappable DESIGNER covers!! – Different Size Options: You can... Read More

Friday Finds | 2 Blokes Designs

“We are taking time off awaiting baby Gray, but have put together our favorite Friday Finds from the last year for us all to review!”  Welcome to this week’s Friday Find..REVISITED! Friday Finds are ALL about us finding great new software, social media tools, gadgets, gear and companies that can help your photography business be better, look slicker, run faster and be more competitive in the market place. For those of you who are looking to have a professional website and have no idea where to start, today’s find is for you!   We would like to introduce to you 2 Blokes Design! We had the privilege of spending of a few days on the road getting to know Jason, one of the co-founders of 2 Blokes Design. He’s a super kind, genuine guy and has a great heart for people. 2 Blokes fully comprises of Jason, his business partner, Dillon and their support team, their lovely wives Shelby and Emily (the 2 Blokes cheering squad :).   What Makes 2 Blokes Design Special: – Jason can beat anyone in a freckle count challenge – Dillon has challenge Jason many times, but has been met with failure on each account – You can have a custom website designed in one day! Click the link for more information on their One Day Process – They specialize in Showit websites – Their business is built around serving and community (Jason and his Wife will be heading overseas for 3 months to serve at a non-profit coffee shop. Read more on their story here) – So much more that you’ll have to... Read More

Friday Fun | Free Advertising

With our little bundle of joy due 6 weeks from today, we thought that we would start him off as soon as possible working for the business. We have decided to auction off advertising space on the baby outfit he will be wearing for the first images we post online for him. What do you think? Good idea? Bad Idea? Ok, ok, we aren’t for real.  It’s simply a funny idea.  I can only imagine the things we’d get from people… lol…... Read More

Friday Finds – Don’t get Apple Mapped!

So, after getting Apple Mapped (that is when Apple Maps screws you and takes you completely the wrong way and destroys your trip!) once again last week, I had had enough! :) So, my amazing friend Zach Prichard from Rhetorik Creative (the team that shot our new IN-CAMERA DVD Series), told me to get back on Google Maps.     I thought since it is not integrated into the iPhone and since Apple is trying to destroy the world with one proprietary system after the next, that I would either have to buy this app (and it would be super expensive) or it would not easily work with the phone. Wrong!! It has everything you could want and more! Easy to get directions with real travel times based on traffic conditions, easy to find food, local transit, and it even has Google Earth and more more more! It also works with the phones GPS and is voiced turn by turn directions that you can actually understand!! (Sorry Apple, but your fake British lady does not speak English very well which is ironic). When we are headed to a shoot, we can’t afford to go the wrong way and Google is the standard when it come to mapping. And, the app is totally free! Get it on your phone and start getting where you are going in the RIGHT direction and don’t get Apple Mapped... Read More

Friday Finds | AirParrot

For all of you PC nuts out there like me (Zach) that have always wanted to airplay your laptop directly to your TV through Apple TV, here is your solution! Just download the APP for $9.99, press the little Airparrot button and you are now Airplay Enabled! Everything on your screen hits the big screen and life just got... Read More

30 Days of Giveaways with the New Launch of the FREE Music Bed App!!

THE MUSIC BED LAUNCHES FREE iOS APP + 30 DAYS OF GIVEAWAYS Attention all photogs (yes, even filmmakers too :), you can now stay inspired and find relevant music to license for projects on-the-go from any iOS device! [iframe: src=”” width=”700″ height=”394″ frameborder=”0″ webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen>] We love how you’ll be able to stay inspired anywhere with access to The Music Bed catalog right at your fingertips! As new music is released, you’ll be able to effortlessly keep up to date with their most recent library additions right on the app. Instantly update your wishlists with the newest hand-picked tracks.   To celebrate the release of your new favorite app, they’ve got 30 Days of Giveaways where you could win $1,500 in song licenses + an iPad Retina from TMB, PLUS tons of insane prizes from the likes of Kessler, Rode, Zacuto, LensProToGo and MORE worth thousands of dollars! It’s too good… but it’s so true.   Click HERE to enter for your chance at 30 Days of Giveaways! Click HERE for your very own download of The Music Bed App in the App Store! About The Music Bed The Music Bed licenses relevant music for your media projects — Empowering you to tell your story as the visual creative and properly supporting the musicians who make your art what it is. You can use their music in corporate productions, promo videos, slideshows, non-profit media, and more! Find us at CONNECT WITH THE MUSIC BED Web: Twitter: [@themusicbed] Facebook: Blog: Vimeo: Read More
tenth av

Friday Finds | Feeling Worn?

Five years ago, this coming August, I (Jody) quit my day job working for Provident Label Group and took the dive to focus fully on photography with Zach. Before I left the company, the label signed a band called Tenth Avenue North and I had the pleasure of getting to know the guys, specifically the lead singer, Mike and his wife Kelly.  Mike and Kelly both, have such a heart for people and if you ever get the chance to hear Tenth Av. play and speak – do it.  You’ll be changed. (Photo Credit: Parker Young) Today, in our Friday Finds blog, we want to share with you their latest music video, “Worn.”  This video captures how we often feel, not just in being small business owners, but sometimes just with LIFE in general. Lyrics: I’m Tired I’m worn My heart is heavy From the work it takes To keep on breathing I’ve made mistakes I’ve let my hope fail My soul feels crushed By the weight of this world And I know that you can give me rest So I cry out with all that I have left Let me see redemption win Let me know the struggle ends That you can mend a heart That’s frail and torn I wanna know a song can rise From the ashes of a broken life And all that’s dead inside can be reborn Cause I’m worn I know I need to lift my eyes up But I’m too weak Life just won’t let up And I know that you can give me rest So I cry out with all that... Read More

Friday Fun/Finds | Hoodie Pillow!

If you don’t watch Shark Tank, then you should. 1. Because it is really entertaining, and 2. Because you get to see how the big dawgs (multi-100 millionaires and billionaires) negotiate and think. People that have figured out how to make that kind of money know something we don’t (most things about business) and it is a great way to learn a small part of how they think. So, we were watching the latest episode as we like to do, and saw something amazing! We travel a ton and were on the road 260 days last year alone. We flew over 60,000 miles in 2012 and let us tell you, you want some alone time after doing that! :) The biggest problem with traveling is listening to the same in-flight safety speech, sitting next to some dude who does not realize you need some time to sleep or relax, and the overly bright lights they flash on and off in your face. Problem solved! Introducing…..   The Travel Hoddie Pillow This pillow gives you everything that rocks about a Hoodie, without the Hoodie! For $16.95 you can bring this on any trip, blow it up and be in the zone! Talk about pure awesome cool factor! :) They also have the full-size Hoodie Pillow for home use that has an iPhone and headphone doc on the pillow so you can listen to your tunes as you drift off to sleep. Get one... Read More

Our Favorite 2013 SuperBowl Commericials

Yes, it’s true…. The only time we actually watch football is the Superbowl and I (Jody) only really watch it for the commercials.  But hey, at least we’re watching, which is more than some people do! Last year’s commercials were great (See our favorite 2012 Super Bowl commercials) and this years there were some cool ones, but not AS awesome, but we thought we would at least highlight a few that made us chuckle. #1.Prom date with Audi [iframe: width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>]   #2. Budweiser Clydesdales (please do not read deep into this.  We simply liked the commercial). [iframe: width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>]  #3. And for your final entertainment: You thought Beyonce was the start of the half time show? Well, this video says otherwise…. :) [iframe: width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>] This was one of the kids at the Super Bowl party we were at… so adorable!!!! What was your... Read More

Friday Finds | The Next American Idol

Zach and I have always enjoyed watching American Idol here there.  We love the auditions and especially Hollywood week.  We enjoy the oblivious people who simply can’t sing (and feel bad sometimes too :() and the quirky people. We were watching AI last night and we found someone worth watching and we’ll just leave it at that…  you just have to watch  :) :) [iframe: width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”″ frameborder=”0″... Read More

Friday FUN | Elf it up!

Merry Christmas and Enjoy!! Cast is: Jody Gray (center stage elf), Zach Gray (supporting elf), Noah Gray (brother elf), Jan Gray (step-mother elf), Keith Gray (papa elf) [iframe: src=”″ width=”900″ height=”506″ frameborder=”0″ webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen] Spread some Christmas... Read More

Friday Finds | Memory Vault

When you are looking to create value in a product that you are selling to your clients, one way help do that is by differentiating your product line. We all know that having all of the images from your wedding, engagement or senior shoot is important to have, but because most of us deliver that on a DVD, clients tend to devalue that in part because they know how much a DVD costs to produce (nothing). So we dress up those little terds by putting them in nice leather DVD cases and printing our studio name on the cover. But the client sometimes still has a hard time swallowing the price point. We know that the value is in our art and not the actual DVD, but since our clients are not artists, they can have a hard time understanding that. The reality is, the client is always right and if they think your disk of images is worth $10, then it is since that is what they are willing to pay! So, one way to get your client back tracking with you is to differentiate by simply packaging your product in a different way, then selling them on a BENEFIT of this new “product” that you are offering. Introducing the Memory Vault by Sandisk. The Memory Vault is simply a small USB 2 hard drive that you can put all the clients final images on. It could sound similar to a DVD, just more expensive. So what is the benefit to your client? The benefit is that it preserves memories for 100 years. Pretty sweet benefit! :) The... Read More

Friday Fun | Silent Monks

Happy Friday!!! For today’s Friday Fun blog, we wanted to share with you a video that was passed to us by friend Evin from Evin Photography. This is a group of high school kids who are monks and have taken an oath of silence… lol. This cracked us up – enjoy!   [iframe: width=”420″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″... Read More

Friday Fun | A Wedding Video To Remember

Have you seen this video that went viral?? We watched this and it cracked us up! A wedding is jam packed as it is and to find the extra time to pull something like this off, is well, pretty amazing. 90% of this video was shot during the wedding day. Crazy! Have a super happy Friday and ENJOY! Adorama actually interviewed the team who pulled this off (David Robin | Films)! To read the interview and how they did it check it out here. So amazing! Here is a picture of the crew below (compliments of the Adorama article). Happy... Read More
instagam before & After 1

Friday Fun | Our Latest Addiction Revealed

A few weeks ago we got introduced to this quick photo sharing app called Instagram and we love it!! What is Instagram? Instagram is a fast and fun way to (quickly) share your life with friends through images! Why Instagram is cool: #1. It’s free #2. It lets you take iPhone photos and make them look awesome at the touch of the screen with all their cool filters (or you can shoot them in-camera! :) #3.It allows you to easily look at the photos of your friends without having to click a link every time you want to see an image they may be referring to. #4. It’s a great time killer (because we all have TONS of time to kill ;o) #5. It’s simple to use. #6. You can even link it to your Twitter and Facebook! Check out some examples of how it makes images look awesome :) It’s great, because with the fun filters your life actually looks cooler!! ;o) Check out an Instagram we shared from the rehearsal that we were guests to last Friday… …. yes, people, that is a tilt-shift filter :) Once you post photos, your friends can like them and comment on them too, which is always fun :) So go on your iPhone, and download the app from the app store and start posting all of your life’s goodness :) You can follow us by searching “GrayPhotography” and make sure to put your Instagram name below for others to see and follow! Happy... Read More

Friday Fun | The TRUTH Revealed on how Mac sucks everyone in!

(We had a workshop attendee bring this video to our attention! Aw yeah!) Ever wondered what is inside the secret factory at Apple? Us too. We thought maybe there was just a brilliant marketing machine selling its slick packaged products to the mindless masses (people just like us who own 4 Apple products to date), but there is soooo much more to be discovered! Won’t you join us as we take a glimpse into where no man has gone before? We think you will. Happy... Read More

Friday Fun | The funniest “We Are Pregnant” Video

Earlier this week we came across this video on facebook of expecting mother, Melissa, telling husband, Gary that (after a long journey) she is finally pregnant. Oh my gosh, this made us both laugh and yes, maybe tear up too. Love it! Happy Friday! To read the full blog post of the story behind her telling him, you can visit their family blog HERE. Congrats, you... Read More

Friday Fun | LipSyncing At Its Finest

Looking for a laugh for your Friday? Look no further. We were a part of a video project that launched at WPPI 2011! This video was led by the Bui Brothers and a slew of photographers were also apart of it. Those who couldn’t make the shoot down in LA, recorded their own videos and submitted them. We pulled in Eugene & Heather from 2Duce2 to partake in our video and we had oh so much fun!!!!!!!!! We decided to not only show you the final video, but yes, share with you the one we created on the homefront…. He he he.. Enjoy! Katy Perry Firework LipDub And the fab photographers who were a part of the above video! Kerry Garrison Robert Evans Christine Bentley Roberto Valenzuela Leeann Marie Kevin Kubota Dawn Davis Bob Davis Jim Garner Sara France Khara Plicanic Erin Youngren Jeff Youngren Jody Gray Zach Gray Heather Brown Eugene Brown Kevin Swan Justine Ungaro Jay Goldman Joy Bianchi Jules Bianchi Lauren Hillary David Esquire Corey Hage And now, we introduce to you the unabridged video we created…. He he he he.. (for the record, seeing we knew this video was going to be a part of a grander video and overdubbed with audio, you get to hear the goodness of us chatting with each other behind-the-scenes… aw yeah). Fun times :) :) Thanks to Westcott for the use of their Spiderlite Pro TD5 and... Read More