PartnerCon 2009 Reflections: Part II – And the Winner Is…

Alright folks!  The time has come to announce the winner for the big giveaway we spoke of at Partner Con 2009! For those of you who were not there, Jody and I did a give-away for one lucky shooter who attended our talk at Partner Con and we are announcing the winner today!!  We are one of Westcott’s Top Endorsed Pros and Westcott is all about educating and helping photographers and that is why we love them!   For our talk Wescott generously donated a $1,000 Strobelight Plus 2-Lite Softbox Lighting Kit! The winner was randomly selected among all entries who followed the specific given tweeting guidelines!  (Are you following @WestcottCo on Twitter)? Below is Stephen Knuth getting his tweet on! We had tons of you enter but sadly, only one can win. :)  So, without any further ado, the winner of the Westcott Strobe-lite lighting kit goes to……. @chelsea_nicole_!!  Wish Chelsea congratulations! Make sure to claim your prize (email us with your mailing info at within the next 48 hours or the prize will go to the second name drawn! Westcott is one of the most innovative lighting companies out there and have been in business for 83 years! We have been using their lighting gear for a few years now and that is how we achieve the stylized look of some of our images. They have an amazing staff and some awesome tools, so you need to check them out and their products on their website at F.J.! Congrats to the winner and thanks to all who came out to our... Read More

Where Did My Superhero Underpants Go?

Where did my superhero underpants go? Ever have one of those days where it seems like all the crap just hits the metaphorical ceiling fan?  Or your boat is right on the tipping point and that the little mouse comes along and totally sends the boat underwater? Ugh. As I begin to write this I am sitting in the Oral Surgeon’s office as Zach gets to go through the awesome experience of having his wisdom tooth pulled out.  No fun… Just another thing added to my boat that just went under. Yesterday was just one of those days.  We finally sit down in our office to work after traveling, speaking, shooting a wedding and taking Monday off, and all of a sudden I feel suffocated.  Overwhelmed.  So much to do and so little time!  125 business emails. 187 personal emails.  68 FaceBook message. Not to mention orders that need to be placed, blogs that need to be written, albums that need to be completed, packages that need to go out, newletters that need to be written, messages to get back to and it’s not like I have all the time in the world to do it all.  On Thursday I head out of town to visit my sister for a few days (yay!) and then when I get back we have 4 more working days and then we’re gone for 9 days (yes, it’s on a cruise but still). Where did my superhero underpants go?  Can I please have the super human power to stop time so I can get more work done? I am one of those people... Read More

PartnerCon 2009 Reflections: Part I – Friends & Speaking

Wow. Where do we even start on the amazing week we had last week?  Last Thursday we  got back from Pictage‘s national conference in New Orleans called Partner Con and it was AMAZING!  We were inspired, motivated, encouraged and of course had a downright BLAST!! With us came our good friend and amazing photographer David Molnar, and our two associate photographers (yes, you did read that correctly!  More to come soon on that!!!), Kristine and Jessica Rai.  We had so many laughs and had a great time bonding…. We learned so much from all the photographers that were there and had an absolute blast meeting new friends and hanging out with old ones!  A special shout out to Jeff & Erin Youngren for being great industry leaders and keepin’ it real, Scarrlett Lillian for helping us find our inner fabs and shining bright with the love of Christ, Stephen Knuth for his awesomeness and support, Justin & Mary Marantz for rockin’ our faces off and getting our rusty gears moving again, for Jared Bauman for kicking our business brains into high gear, Jeff & Betsy McCue for becoming instant buddies and friends that we will have for a long time, Nathan & Amber Holritz for your wisdom and many laughs, and ah, there are so many more.  You’ll just have to attend PartnerCon yourself to see how amazing it is and meet all the fab & inspirational photographers. There is so much to share so we’re going to split PartnerCon into a few blogs, from us speaking, to mentoring, modeling (ha ha you read that right! lol) and yes,... Read More

New York City Winner Announced!!!

Alright, friends!  The time has come to announce the winner of our “Plan Our Trip to NYC” contest. With our traveling and the last minute re-scheduling to be one of the main speakers at Partner Con, our blogging schedule got thrown slightly off so sorry for the delay in announcing the winner! We have to admit that it was a tough call.  We had over 20 of you leave comments and we even got a few emails with lengthier suggestions.  There were so many fab ideas and sadly, we barely got to do any of them with how our days in NY ended up working out (and of course it didn’t help that we left the list of everything to do on the bus and that was BiP – before we got our new iPhones), BUT we said we would pick a winner and we did! Drum roll please! The award of amazingly awesome New York souvenir  goes to….. Amy McNeal of Nashville, TN! *Read following in announcer voice* Amy’s prize comes straight from the heart of New York City and yes, is a real, genuine, Statue of Liberty bobble head.  “Libby” (as nicknamed by Zach and Jody), loves to stand tall and proud on anyone’s work desk and can appreciates a great view out of an office or home window as well. Here is your amazing prize!!!! Congrats Amy!  Please contact us within the next 42 hours to claim your prize! Thanks to everyone else who played and made our trip awesome! You guys are the... Read More

Nashville, TN Wedding Photography – Blake & Andrea = Awesomeness!

We just shot the awesome wedding of Blake & Andrea and these two are so amazing!! We have known Blake and Andrea for quite some time as we shot their friends Britt and Allison’s wedding over a year and a half ago.  The wedding was out at the amazing Carnton Plantaion in Franklin, TN which makes for an amazing backdrop! The day ended up being really chilly, but everyone was so full of life and so excited about this wedding that the cold did not faze us one bit (maybe a little:)! The day started out with me shooting the guys over at Blake’s bachelor pad as Jody shot the girls at the plantation.  On our way to meet up with the girls the guys made a pit stop downtown Franklin to take some shots of the dudes.  We then headed off to Carnton to meet up with everyone else and get the party started! The reception was in the new building that Carnton just built and the outdoor patio was tented to keep the chill out. It was a great party and everyone hit the dance floor with tons of energy! We had a ball and loved every minute of it!! Andrea, the bride actually got in a car accident a few weeks before the wedding and hurt her wrist and broke her foot.  Praise the Lord she wasn’t hurt any worse.  Blake and Andrea are such positive and fun people that they didn’t let it effect their day and they had fun with her boot through out the night… lol… We made sure to incorporate her amazing... Read More

Nashville Wedding Photography – Beth & Josh = Gorgeous!

We had the awesome privilege of traveling to Monteagle, TN to shoot the amazingly cool wedding of Beth & Josh. These guys could not have been more easy to work with and Beth looked absolutely stunning on her wedding day! We started off  shooting at their family home up in the mountains and then headed to the beautiful church where Beth also went to school when she was younger. The family and friends and everyone that was associated with the wedding were so nice, helpful and accommodating. The night was capped off with an outdoor reception at the High Point restaurant that Al Capone himself financed! It was an awesome event and we had a blast! Check out the images from the day below!! Meet the vendors from the day! Flowers: Taylors Mercantile Lighting:  Crescent Moon Talent Music: The Answer Band Cake: Signature Cakes By Vicki Wedding Dress: A Joyous Occasion Bridesmaid Dresses: Nicole Miller You guys rock and thanks soooo much for letting us be a part of your awesome wedding day!! We can’t wait to see you again!! *To view and purchase images from this wedding once they are available, register at this link... Read More

Big Last Minute News to Announce for those going to Partner Con 2009!!

We have an announcement about our speaking engagement at Partner Con in New Orleans this Wednesday, so check out the video. If you are checking this on your iPhone, then read below to see what is up! We are no longer leading a Q&A session at PartnerCon in the Photographer’s Lounge, but are now in the main room following Jim Collins, CEO of Pictage and Joe Buissink, speaking more in depth on our topic “Executing the Dream”!  We are still in the same time slot, 11:20am to 12:20pm on Wednesday November 4th, but now you just get a little more!  We have also pulled some strings and made a few calls and are doing a HUGE giveaway during our presentation. You must be present to win, so come on out!!  We will also have time afterward for some Q & As, so grab us in the hall afterward if need be! We are sooo excited to be at Partner Con with you all and if you see us wondering around the hotel, come and say... Read More

Partner Con 2009 Or Bust! A little message from us…

Hey Everyone!!!!!  Next week is Partner Con 2009 in New Orleans and we are PUMPED!!!!!!  We recorded a special little video just for you that shares a little bit on what we will be  talking about in the Photographer’s Lounge on Wednesday. Check it out! You do not want to miss out on Partner Con!!!  If you need that extra oomph and encouragement for your business – this is where you need to be!  Amazing speakers, amazing photographers – you will be inspired!!!!!!  Registration is still open so it’s not too late to register!  Visit the PartnerCon 2009 Website. Leave a comment!  Let us know if we will be seeing you at Partner Con!!! PS  For those of you signed up for the Youngren’s workshop Wednesday morning… you’re in for a little something special… :) ha... Read More

New York City and Back Again! We Survived!

Jody and I just got back from our first trip as husband and wife to New York City! Jody had been there twice before, but I had never been. We came out to go to the PDN Photo Plus Expo which is one of the largest photography expo’s in the world with over 27,000 in attendance. The show was awesome and Jody and I were asked to speak at the Westcott booth about lighting (which was really cool!). We got to hang with the whole crew from Westcott for dinner and meet the Owner, Vice President Kelly Mondora and hang with the amazing sales team John and David. There was also another Westcott Pro there who was teaching about lighting and has been working with Westcott for the last 23 years, Jim. Thanks to ALLLLLLL of you for sending us suggestions of things to do while in NYC!  Sadly, our visiting time there was really short, and we left the list of everyone’s suggestions of what to do on the bus right before we got dropped off at Times Square… *sighs*  We have decided that we need to make another trip and do all of the cool ideas that were mentioned!  Because we were not really able to do any of the suggestions, we still have a prize to give! We will be announcing the winner of the “Tell us what to do in New York” this Friday, so stay tuned!! You are not going to believe how awesome the prize is!!  :) Jody and I also got to explore the city and high on my to-do list was... Read More

A Washington DC Wedding in Nashville, TN

Meet Ben & Mary- A super fun couple from the DC area who not only are great people and like to enjoy life, but they love for others around them to have a great time as well!  For Ben & Mary’s wedding we were working with a great team of people that day from amazing Nashville wedding planner, Mary Natalie (Weddings by Mary Natalie),  to Erin at the downtown Nashville wedding reception Loews Vanderbilt who is as professional as they come, to the phenomenal performer and band Super-T. Check out some shots from the day!! **To be notified when Ben & Mary’s image are online and available for viewing and purchasing, sign up for their online gallery here. Mary actually wore these boots the whole day! It was soooo Nashville!! These ladies were fierce! We loved the red dresses and vibrant fall colored bouquets. Ben workin’ it! The ceremony was beautiful and Mary’s dad wore a traditional kilt to keep with his roots. They had a great bagpipe player walk them back down the isle. Really unique!! Something else unique that Ben & Mary fit into their wedding day was a 2-hour block after the ceremony to hang with their bridal party and shoot around Nashville! It was awesome!! They wanted a shot with the Nashville skyline, so we delivered! :) Then it was off to the Parthenon where the bride and groom wanted to shoot next! While shooting everyone, we grabbed some more shots of the bride and groom alone. It was a perfect day and perfect weather!  Thank-you Lord for no rain! Then it was off to... Read More

Nashville Wedding Photography of Jim & Laura!!

Last year we shot the beautiful wedding of Alexis Lempke and Abdul Anbari (at CJ’s Off the Square!) who are now expecting their first child (yay!) and this year we had the privilege of shooting her sister’s wedding – Laura Lempke.  We love the Lempke ladies (all artists and business owners of Adornments – custom jewelry, art, and invitations) and were glad to once again, be a part of a big day of their lives! Sadly, it was raining all day which put a wrench in not only the wedding plans but of course, in the photography as well, but good thing they had an awesome group of wedding professionals who pulled off the day flawlessly.  One of those professionals was the AMAZING Amy Parman of Williamson County Weddings and Events.  We cannot rave enough about the professionalism that Amy and her team bring to a wedding.  If Amy was not there the wedding would have been up a creek without a paddle.  We cannot stress enough to brides how important it is to have a wedding planner/coordinator.  You never know what may come up and the last thing you want to be worrying about on your wedding day is handing things of the last minute changes that come up. Anyway, enjoy some images from their wedding day!!! So the pouring rain dampened any opportunity for shooting outside, but luckily all the girls were getting ready in the Hilton hotel downtown Nashville and we made use of their beautiful lobby for the girl’s shots!  :) Laura is an artist and does amazing work, (see on the Adornments‘ website) and... Read More

Destination: New York, NY! Help plan our Trip for this Week!

Jody and I are headed to NY this Wednesday and we are pumped!  Believe it or not, this is the first time that I will actually get to set foot in New York, NY!  We are headed there because Jody and I are going to the biggest photography expo in the world called the Photo Plus Expo. More than 27,000 photographers came out to this thing last year and more than 300 photography companies will be showcasing their newest gadgets and gizmos. The biggest speakers in the world will also be there from Joe Buissink and Zach Arias to David Jay. Jody and I have been asked to speak at the Westcott booth (who we are sponsored by) and are super excited! We have also booked a little time to ourselves and will be taking a carriage ride through Central Park and then eating at the Tavern on the the Green restaurant. Yum!! Sooooo…We would love any other ideas that anyone that has been to New York may have about cool things to do, so chime in and give us some fun places that we MUST visit while we are there! And for some incentive, if you give us a great suggestion AND we go and do it, then we will send that first person who mentioned it on the blog an official New York souvenir!!! So let us know what to do and you just might be celebrating Christmas with a sweet Big apple snow globe!! Be sure to leave us your name and a link to get a hold of you if you comment! For those that... Read More

Friday Fun – Boys Vs. Girls Mini Bowling!

There comes a time when people need to connect with each other (I’m speaking to photographers here!) outside of their professions and what they do.  AND it’s super important (and fun) to invest in your relationship with your spouse and with other couples!  Not to ostracize those who aren’t married but there are certain times when ya just need to hang with other married folk and build those relationships. Sooooooooooo for those who follow us on Twitter and Facebook you know we had an open hang out night for anyone who was married and a photographer or in the wedding profession circles, and we had a fun night of  MINI-BOWLING, Boys Vs. Girls! GRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!  Only one rule existed – No business talk allowed!! It goes without saying, but we added the score board anyway just to show how bad the guys rocked the girls’ faces off! What up?!! We had a blast and here are some shots from the night! This is Kristyn Hogan from KristynHogan Photography and hubby Matt high-fivin’ it Ahhh… Technology! The ball on it’s way down… (Eugene of Eugene & Heather 2Duce2 Videography) The ball on it’s way back?? David of the David and Tammy Molnar wedding duo from David Molnar Weddings. A little intimidation never hurt anyone, but check out that less-than-amused look from the Jodster! Uh!! Don’t throw that ball too hard baby! Let Zach show you how it’s done. STRIKE!!!! (Actually I think it was a gutter ball, but whatever). Not sure if the tongue helps with balance or what, but it works for me! (Dustin from Dustin & Lindsey photo duo... Read More

Super Hot David & Tammy Rockstar Nashville wedding photographer shoot!!!!!

Yeah, so the title of this post is a little crazy but that is the only way I could describe the coolness of this couple. David & Tammy Molnar are amazing international wedding photographers based right out of old Nash-Vegas and are really great friends of ours. So, just like many of our photographer friends who take awesome photos, they tend to not have very many awesome photos of themselves. :) So they have gone about it the hard way by setting up their tri-pod and running back to the camera to take self-portraits as they travel all over the world shooting. So, when they asked us if we could do a personal shoot of them, we were honored! It is always a big task to shoot someone that does what you do for a living, so the pressure was on to rock it out! It was not hard, though, because as you can see these two are HOT! We had a ton of fun shooting around Franklin and capturing their fun and quirky personalities. These guys are great and are definitely some good friends to hang out with and spend real quality time together. We hope you two enjoy the shots and we hope everyone else enjoys looking at your gorgeousness!! We had a blast with you two as usual and can’t wait to hang out again... Read More

Class Added for Orange County Photography Workshops!

Due to the high volume of response we have received and with our IN-CAMERA: Light class closed already, we have created an additional Light photography workshop for Tuesday, December 15th in Orange County, CA.  Our website registration page has been updated, so you may Register Here or click on the image below! Let us know if you have any... Read More

IN-CAMERA Photography Workshops are coming to Orange County, California!!

It’s official!   We are now also hosting back to back workshops in Orange County, California on December 13th and 14th!  We already have 8 seats sold so make sure to register as soon as you can before it fills up.  A special thanks goes to Mapuana of Mapuana Photography who is hosting this round of workshops on the West Coast! Sign up now for these workshops by clicking HERE! Check out our IN-CAMERA promo video! Video by 2Duce2 Videography We will be doing our IN-CAMERA: Shooting & Post workshop on Sunday the 13th and our IN-CAMERA: Light workshop on Monday the 14th. Overview of the Gray Photography IN-CAMERA Workshop Series – Want to learn how we are able to achieve the look of all our images without the aid of PhotoShop? – Want to learn how we are able to edit an entire wedding in 2.5 hour solely using Lightroom? – Want to learn how we are able to create and control light and get phenomenal images in any lighting situation and then apply that knowledge to your own style? Our IN-CAMERA series of workshops actually show you how to shoot images that amaze right in the camera. This series of workshops will be held in Jacksonville Beach, Florida and feature class time, hands-on shooting with professional models, post-production and/or image critiques and much more. These workshops are fun, informative, and a great time to hang out with and meet other photographers who want what you want – great images without having to spend hours behind a computer screen editing! IN-CAMERA: Shooting & Post This one-day intensive workshop... Read More

Friday Fun – Our Youngest Audience Ever

Out of all the different gigs we have been asked to speak at, I must admit that personally, I have been the most excited about this one! We were asked to speak at Cedar Grove Elementary School for Career Day last Friday!  Talk about fun!  We had 7 or so classes come through of 5th graders and we shared with them all about what we do,  showed them images, and then came the Q&A times.  We had questions regarding the Tennessee Titan wedding we shot (that was a hit!), they laughed at our story of the bride and groom shoving cake in each others faces when the bride fell over, and they wanted to know how much money we make.  Lol. It was great finally having a crowd that laughed at Zach’s jokes!  The big highlight was when we took a few group shots – they were all over that :) The nice shot… The fun shots!! Can you find us in with the kids at all (Jody blends right in!)?  :) Being with the students, sure made our self-esteem go up too!  Zach got compliments on his cool hair, girls said I was pretty, and as we were walking the halls we overheard some kids say they thought we were Rockstars!  Aw yeah :)  I think we’re going to go back every day so we can feel good about ourselves 24/7!  ;o) One of the coolest things we got from it besides some kids wanting to now be photographers, was a pile of thank-you notes!   I think we need a new thank-you board to put all of these... Read More

A Little PUG Update…

PUG was really awesome last Thursday and we had some great, new faces who came out to hear us talk about utilizing free marketing for your business and the power it has!  Thanks to all for the positive feedback! Thanks to Evan Baines for shooting a few pics from his center and middle spot in the room.  :) And for those who may be visiting here from our weddings this past weekend… here is a small little sample of what is to come! Congrats Beth & Josh! Congrats Laura &... Read More

Nashville Engagement Photography – Carlos & Jehan

Last week we shot the ever-so-cute couple Carlos & Jehan!  We met Jehan awhile ago – she is a planner and also owns/runs Purified Trends, and her fiance Carlos is a Nashville fire fighter!  (He won’t tell you himself, but he’s awesome at his job and has some cool stories about saving people’s lives…).  We took them around town to spots that were special to them, and have a few images below to show you a sneak peek! We started near where they live and got some fun close to home shots near the Village. These guys wanted to make a go for it in the fountain so we were only happy to comply.  We love it when couples want to do something a little different from the norm, and we can never resist shooting something... Read More

Friday Fun – We like to call it Picasso…

Sooooooooooooooo Zach and I have scheduled date nights.  To be fully honest, they don’t happen every week like they should, but we have them!  We normally end up doing the same things, but this time we committed ourselves to doing something a bit different, so what did we do?  We went to good ‘ol JoAnne Fabric & Craft Stores and looked for a project that we could do together!  After roaming the isles we decided on a little paint project :) Our Paints… Our Project… Our Love… (awww….) Ta Da! Beautimus!  Look at that awesome painting detail! Yay to fun, bonding, painting times! **We Need Your Help!!**   We always seem short on ideas when date night actually comes up.  Anyone have any good ideas other than dinner & a movie?  Come on peeps – get... Read More

Destination Wedding Photography – Atlanta, GA Amanda & John Married!

We often get asked if we travel and our answer is always a huge resounding YES!  We are destination wedding photographers, whether the destination be a vineyard in GA (like the wedding below!) or Bora Bora.  So yes.  We travel. We just got back Sunday night from an amazing wedding at the Montaluce Winery in Dahlonega (for those wondering, it’s pronounced duh-lon-eh-guh), GA which is just north of Atlanta. The wedding was planned by the AMAZINGLY cool Amy Osaba who also did the floral design as well (props to her awesome assistant Brittany too!) and the staff at the winery was top class.  Other vendors included:  On-site Hair & Makeup – Karma Salon, Wedding & Grooms cakes – Lulu’s Bakery, Gelato that was brought in for the wedding guests – Dreamy Gelato, Videographer – Creative Video Moments, Bridesmaid Dresses – Bella Bridesmaid, Bride’s Dress – Bride Beautiful, Groom/Groomsmen Tuxedos – A Formal Affair, Limo Service – Atlantic Limo. As Jody and I were following the GPS out to the vineyard we were in some interesting Georgia back country and kept hearing the theme song from Deliverance playing through our heads. Then, out of nowhere, we turned into the Montaluce Winery, headed down the hill into what can only be described as a little Tuscan village! There were these beautiful villa-style homes, rolling hills and winding roads that were like heaven on earth. As you head back toward the vineyard itself, you see this gorgeous hill-top restaurant that is three stories tall. They make their own wine in these huge steel fermenting vats in the basement and have a world-class... Read More

Calling All Local Nashville Photographers! – Zach & Jody are speaking at PUG this Thursday!

We are speaking at PUG  this Thursday!  PUG stands for Pictage User Groups – which is the local Nashville photographer gathering, for those of you who may not know. Last month’s PUG  was awesome with speakers Seal & Mel of McLellan Style.  If we had the photos we would post them, but we haven’t gotten them yet.  Sorry, we know a post is always better with images! …And to answer the first question we always get – yes, you can come to PUG even if you are not a Pictage member !  We always get emails and calls asking about the kinds of marketing we do and how we do it, so if you are one of those people, be there and you’ll hear it all.  Well, you’ll hear most of it…  You can only share so much in an hour and a half :o) A little bit of more info: Date: Thursday, October 1st, 2009 Time: 6:30pm Address: St. Bernard Building / The Village Chapel 2021 21st Ave. South, Suite C100 Nashville, TN  37212 (The building is back off from the street with a ginormous front yard.  The Army Surplus store is right on the corner so if you see that, you are close!  Look for Pictage signs on the St. Bernard building to find the group!) Local Agenda: Guest speakers Zach & Jody Gray – Marketing to the Modern Day Client. How to best utilize the free marketing tools available to photographers. Find your full potential to promote your business – from blogging to marketing on the actual wedding day. See you there! (If you have trouble... Read More