Photoshoot DOs and DON’Ts

Photographers – when was the last time that you were in front of the camera? No, not for a quick snapshot with Grandma by the Christmas tree, but an actual photoshoot. Doing photoshoots is like 2nd nature to us because we do them all the time, but we often forget what it’s like actually being in front of the camera. For most of the clients we all shoot, it has been awhile since they have had their photo professionally taken (it may even be the first time for them) and many times they come to the shoot insecure and wondering what it’s going to be like, and worried that their photographer might not get a good shot of them (not because you as the photographer aren’t good, but because they don’t like how they look or they are worried because their fiance isn’t really into having a photo session done). Today’s post is not about how technically you can make the shoot better for your clients, but how you can make the EXPERIENCE awesome for them, which of course, results in not just better images, but images that really reflect the clients true personality. The DOs and DONTs of creating a great client experience: DO set the tenor for the shoot. DON’T expect them to know what you’re going to do. As mentioned above, more than likely your couple is going to be a bit anxious about their session. They have been planning all week what to wear, and it’s been forever since they have had their photo professionally taken. They have no idea what to expect and it’s our... Read More

IN-CAMERA Photography Workshops | Coming to San Francisco!

  Registration is open for the IN-CAMERA San Francisco Workshops coming December! For more information CLICK HERE to visit our workshop website. SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Registration is now Live! IN-CAMERA: Shooting & Post (Sun, Dec 5th) IN-CAMERA: Light 1 (Mon, Dec 6th) BUSINESS & MARKETING: Executing the Dream (Tues, Dec 7th) ALL WORKSHOP ATTENDEES WILL RECEIVE: 50% off their first Image Capsule album One year subscription discount to PhotoVision’s DVD teaching series save $20 on their mobile website by iFolios Save 30% off next pixel2canvas order 30% off your next Pixel2Canvas order MULTIPLE DRAWINGS WILL BE HELD FOR: One free year’s subscription to Album Exposure Free Expo Disc by Expo Imaging A Free Mobile Website by iFolios One Free year subscription to Showit Five Free years subscription to Showit Free video from PhotoVision 16×20 Gallery Wrapped Canvas by Pixel2Canvas 11×14 Aluminum Panel with Ice Block Stand by Pixel2Canvas IN-CAMERA: Shooting & Post Behind-the-Scenes Video Videos by the fab 2Duce2. If this is inspiring you to attend the IN-CAMERA Light workshop, we have reopened the Sold Out Nashville class to one more group. Only four seats are left! There is still space in the San Francisco workshop class. For detailed class descriptions as well as dates and pricing, visit the IN-CAMERA workshop... Read More

Celebrating Our Five Year Anniversary!

The big 0-5. It is really hard to believe that five years ago we were getting married. My, how time flies. Year 1 – We finally got married! We moved into our first home together – our one bedroom, 800 sq foot apartment in Franklin. Waking up together was a blast and the excitement of brushing our teeth together every night before we went to bed was too much to contain ;) Being married and living together wasn’t too much of an adjustment… probably because of the pre-marital planning we did together. We had decided to get our financial act together and continued to pay off our debts. Year 2 – Still having fun being married and enjoying what life and God had for us. We officially started our photography business and Zach went into it full time while I (Jody) still had a day job. We started to realize very quickly how much work having a legit photography business was and how much time it tried to take from us. Officially debt free and began saving for a home. Impactful marriage book this year – Love & Respect. Year 3 – This is the year we were just trying to keep our heads above water. Business was flourishing, but our own marriage was suffering. We had two desks set up in our one bedroom apartment in our living room. Began to feel more like business partners than marriage & life partners. Something had to go. We were on a fast track to saving for our new home but weren’t quite ready yet to buy. We made two big... Read More

Black Friday Special!! | Come on a Cruise With Us! $400 off!

Exciting things have been happening over here and the latest goodness to share is………. (drum-roll please)…. We are speaking on a cruise and you are invited!! AAAAAnd TODAY if you register you can save $400 thanks to sponsor Thirst Relief! WHAT: A SEVEN day cruise of the Mexican Riveria on the Norwegian Cruise line departing from Los Angeles with fellow photographers and industry leaders including Mike Larson, Jeff & Erin Youngren, Shawn Austin and Kevin Swan, The Bui Brothers, and Lydia Shannon and Stephen Knuth. WHEN: February 26th-March 5th THE VISION: Photog Retreat is about bringing together like minded photographers who enjoy meeting new friends, learning from one another, sharing their experiences and growing together as a community. The emphasis on this retreat is not only to enjoy a vacation on a cruise, but to network, build relationships, attend informative workshops, an on-location shoot at one of the beautiful islands, and so much more! COST: Only $1550! This includes your 7-day cruise as well as the workshops – AND it gets even better for those of you reading this after Black Friday- Up until November 30th if you buy one workshop seat, you can get the 2nd one Half Off!! Sooooooooo awesome and what a steal. For more information, visit the below! Website: Blog: Twitter: @PhotogRetreat Who are we going to see... Read More

The Fabulous Boston Wedding of Brian & Soo!!!

We love it when we get to travel and meet couples outside of the Nashville area. Take Brian & his lovely bride, Soo. Brian enjoys photography and knew us simply from our blog. When he and Soo got engaged they reached out to us and we were all pumped that we were free for their wedding! Once we flew into Massachusetts we were able to get together with them the night before their big day. It’s one thing to talk over the phone with your couples but it’s even cooler actually getting to meet! As soon as we met these two, we liked them instantly. They both are so sweet and really fun and of course, Brian loves photography so can it get any better than that? :) Brian & Soo got married and had their reception at Independence Harbor. It was a great spot for a late morning wedding! Enjoy the images and commentary! To view images once their wedding is released online, CLICK HERE to sign their virtual guestbook. We HAVE to start out showcasing Dunkin’ Donuts. Now we have DD here, but it’s nothing like what it is up there… DD is EVERYWHERE and as you see, DD giftcards were prevalent at the wedding reception.. lol… It was potentially going to be a rainy day, so Soo and her girls were prepared!! The men decided to venture into unknown territory as they crossed into the land of the forbidden… luckily no one got arrested and it was totally worth it! :) Brian & Soo had their first look in this field that was close by… it... Read More

San Francisco Photography Workshops | Less Than Two Weeks Away!

We are pumped to be headed out to San Francisco in less than two weeks! For those of you who just began to follow us, the latest workshop stop that we are doing is in the bay area December 5th, 6th, and 7th and we can’t wait to come out there! It’s going to be a great time. We have just opened five more seats for IN-CAMERA Light on Monday. Those seats were first released earlier today to those on the waiting list, and in less than 24 hours the remaining seats will be released to the rest of you all! In IN-CAMERA: Light, you will learn how to create images like the one below without the aid of Photoshop. We still have some openings for IN-CAMERA: Shooting & Post on Sunday where you will learn how to shoot awesome images right in your camera, and then at the tail end we will run you through our quick and efficient post production process! Are you tired of spending your life behind the computer when you would rather be shooting, spending time with your family or actually making money? What you will learn in this workshop is how we are able to get fantastic images without having to bring them into Photoshop, and how we are able to edit a wedding in 2.5 hours flat. Suh-weet! The first image you see below is what the natural light looked like on a cloudy day. What you see in the second image the result of simply manipulating the natural light and getting AWESOME results – RIGHT IN CAMERA. The last day of... Read More

The Cheekwood Botanical Garden Wedding of Ben & Cheyanne!

We had the pleasure of shooting Ben & Cheyanne’s wedding at one of Nashville’s most beautiful places to have a wedding – Cheekwood Botanical Gardens. Nita and Miranda from Nashville Event Planning did a FANTASTIC job with making this wedding happen and thanks to all of Cheyanne’s planning and attention to detail, the day turned out awesome. To view images from Ben & Cheyanne’s wedding as soon as they become available, CLICK HERE to sign up for their online gallery. Congrats you... Read More

Nola Lighting Workshop Re-Cap

As most of you know, we were at Pictage’s photographer’s conference last week! We had an absolute blast teaching the 2 hour version of our IN-CAMERA: Light workshop in New Orleans last Wednesday! We sold out the class on the day it opened and wish we could have had everyone come out who wanted to make the class. We shot around the streets of the French Quarter and had soooo much fun with all the photographers we got to meet! We showed how you can really give your images a unique edge by creating light instead of looking for it. We hit on lighting ratios, styles, and how to set up shots like the above in just a few fast seconds. If you missed out on this workshop, no worries! We will be in San Francisco this December doing our full-on 10 hour class and even though the Light workshop is technically sold out, if we hit the reserve then we will open it up to a few more seats for those that are on the list! We also have some seats for the Shooting and Post class where we are going to teach you how we get the look of our images without needing to utilize PhotoShop, as well as edit 1,200 images in just 2,5 hours! You don’t want to miss this! Can’t make it out for San Fran? We will be at WPPI this February and although the Master Class we are doing is completely sold out as well, we just might have something up our sleeves that you can get in on! Interested? Sign up... Read More

Is the iPad REALLY Beneficial to a Photographer’s Business?

You have heard the rumors… … You have wondered if they are true… …. And you have come to the source to find out… … Ok, ok, we admit it! Yes, us PC users have added another mac to our collection of technological toys… We have an iPad! Is this necessary? Maybe not. Has it been convenient and fun to have? Yes. There have been many discussions as to if the iPad is actually beneficial to a photographer and their business or is more of a luxury. So lets let the public decide. What do you think? As you ponder this deep question we thought we would share the cooler apps we have accumulated up to this point… Our Favorite Fun Apps so far: -Words with Friends: Crossword puzzles with each other and with friends! Does it get any better than that? -NYTimes: We don’t get the paper so it’s a nice and quick way to stay up on the latest news -AllRecipes: A super cool app for cooking! You can search by ingredient, prep time, dietary needs, and more, and the coolest thing – you can change the serving amount and it will update all the ingrediants! So nice for when we cook for only two of us! Our Favorite Business Apps so far: -KeyNote: This bad boy isn’t free but it lets us run our powerpoints from it! Sweet! -Simplenote: A really cool way to take notes and then share them with others simultaneously. It allows them to edit the document and it updates in real time. Coool… -Square: We just got it and have yet to... Read More

Creating a Niche

We all know that if you don’t have your business working for you, then all the shooting talent in the world won’t help you get clients booked! So, today we are going to be giving some practical, take-away business advice that YOU, the photographer, can apply to what you are doing day in and day out. If you want the full scoop, then sign up for our photography newsletter for much, much more! :) We will soon be utilizing our newsletter for exclusive Tips & Tricks content, so if you want it all, make sure to sign up for it! We’re not sure if it’s because photographers are typically artists and get bored easily, or because we don’t have a clear grasp of our marketing position (or marketing in general), but many shooters today suffer from the old saying, “Jack of all trades, master of none.” It seems like it would be a great idea to offer all kinds of photography specialties from your studio to your perspective clients. Why not cater to anyone and everyone, right? Here is the problem: Even though you may be really good at all of those types of shooting, you run the risk of diluting your message, your skill, what you do, and the potential client will go to someone else. A perspective bride or mom wanting her baby photographed, will have the impression that you are not specializing in anything specific, and therefore are not the best. So, because you shoot so many different styles and types of photography, she will more than likely not see the value in what you do... Read More

Starbucks Trip Adventures | New Orleans

Most of you know that we love Starbucks. Though don’t get us wrong – we do love local coffee shops and having their coffee as well, but sometimes when you travel often, there’s nothing like the comfort of a brand you recognize and are familiar with and know what to expect when you order a tall vanilla latte or a caramel macchiato with whip. We often wonder how much we have spent at Starbucks, and that thought then makes us cringe…. :) Well Starbucks has sucked us in and figured out another way to get more of our money. Have you seen the mugs that they now sell that are local to each state or city? They are so cool that we have decided that each place we visit we are going to buy a Starbucks mug and turn it into a conversational piece! So now we share with you our latest mug addition and the favorite parts of our trip to this fab state: Jody: Ah, New Orleans. Honestly, not a fan of the city, but we truly do enjoy PartnerCon. We had so much time connecting with great friends, but I have to say one of my favorite parts was one of the evening sessions. Pictage brought out Ralph Alswang and Paul Morse – former White House photographers (Bill Clinton & George W. Bush era) to lead an evening session for PartnerCon attendees. I was truly moved, and I can’t exactly put my finger on it. Maybe it was how they were granted such top level access to the most powerful men in the country, and they... Read More

Home, Sweet Home

For the last 30 days we have been traveling… A lot… We have been home for a total of six days in the past three weeks. You ask us how we do it and how we stay fresh and don’t get totally worn out. This is how we do it – we make sure we are taking the day off… which is what we are doing today. We have deemed today Zach-&-Jody-do-absolutely-nothing-day. No emails, no phone, no blog (we already scheduled this baby to go up :), no NOTHING! Just relaxing, recouping, and loving our poor deprived kitty Starbucks, who being the people loving cat that she is, needs a lot of lovin’ :) After a three day weekend of rest and relaxation, we will be back and alive and kicking on Monday! In the meantime we leave you with two iPhone photos… Working hard on the plane… A little behind-the-scenes shot taken at our shooting workshop at PartnerCon. See you back here on Monday! HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PS. Have any fun ideas of things we can do today? Oh wait. We won’t be checking the blog… how about ideas for next time?... Read More

Personal Fun | Double Date Chinese Extravaganza!

This past weekend we had the pleasure of having our friends and fellow photogs – the lovely Scarlett Lillian and Stephen Knuth – stay at our humble abode! When they weren’t shooting a wedding here in Nashville, we hung out, took them to church, went roller skating, aaaaaaaaaaand, we showed them how fun it could be making dinner together :) (Scarlett and Stephen are in training for when they get hitched in April ;o). We documented our evening a bit and wanted to share the fun. :) Stephen doing his chopping thang! The ladies doing their cooking thang! Scarlett making her yummy egg-rolls! Watch the process unfold… or fold, should we say? :) And now it’s Zach’s turn with his potstickers! And our lovely table setting… ha ha The food was DEE-lish and got eaten UP! It was soooooooooooooo good! And what’s a Chinese dinner without fortune cookies? Glad you guys were able to come and stay with us! Next time we see you it will more than likely be for your wedding and we can’t wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!... Read More

New Orleans or BUST!

Happy Monday! We have been home for two days (For the Love was AWESOME) and now we are headed off to Pictage’s PartnerCon in New Orleans – the best photographer’s conference out there that we have been to! We cannot wait to see all of our friends, get our brains pumped with awesome business info, and of course, lead our shooting workshop! We are thrilled for those who made the workshop and we’re excited to pump your heads with some awesome lighting goodness. For those of you who will not be at PartnerCon this year and are super bummed, now is your chance to plan ahead and make sure you are prepared once registration opens for next year. PartnerCon by far has been the best experience for photographers to learn, shoot, and have community with each other! WE LOVE IT! Can’t wait to see you all in a few hours!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Plan for it next year. Don’t miss next... Read More

Friday Fun | Gray Brown Photo Craziness

It’s Friday, and it’s time for a little fun… Last month we shot Jimmy & Brittaney’s wedding with the fab videographers, Heather & Eugene from 2Duce2, and decided to leave a little Photo Booth Nashville love for our couple. Can you tell which frame is the “Before” shot representing us at the beginning of a wedding day and then the “After” shot once the wedding day has been completed?... Read More

Destination Oregon | For the Love Workshop, Part I

We flew into Oregon on Sunday and have been here ever since! We are here to speak at the For the Love workshop and it has been absolutely AMAZING so far! Two more full days to go! We wanted to take a moment out and share some of the collective images that everyone has taken! This is the view from the lodge we are staying at…. The first day before the attendees came, we went horseback riding… Here are some images taken with Mike Larson‘s... Read More

A Gray Photography Team Wedding by Kristine | Stephanie & Jamie are Hitched!!

We are excited to bring you another Gray Photography team wedding, and this one was covered by Kristine & second shot by Jessica Rai! Read Kristine’s take below on the wedding of Stephanie & Jamie! I could hardly contain myself when September 18th finally rolled around; this was a wedding I had been looking forward to since that blustery December day Stephanie and I met over a cup of coffee and hours of telling conversation. This would be a special day, I knew, if not just alone for the story of two people finding each other, falling in love, and dreaming of a future together as husband and wife. But even more than that, it was the way her eyes sparkled when she talked about the type of man Jamie was – how perfect he was for her – and how utterly grateful she was to have met him and call him her own. Their wedding day was every bit of that sparkle and more, because it too, was reflected in Jamie’s eyes – a man who was just beaming at the mention of his beautiful bride whom he had yet to see. And if there was an “it-moment” in this whole day, it was hands-down their First Look. It was fireworks and beauty, wonder and pure elation. I was choking back my own set of tears in that moment as a soon-to-be husband and wife relished in a quiet moment alone together before the festivities would begin. I was honored to bear witness to that and to their whole day of proclaiming to each other – to their... Read More

Nailing the Correct Focus – Servo Mode vs. One Shot

We hope that everyone is having an amazing day and that all your photography dreams are coming true as we type! ;) Today we are going to do a simple post on a cool little topic – FOCUS! Have you ever been shooting your client and they start moving or running and all of a sudden all your images start coming out blurry? Or, on the other hand, have you ever been shooting your client and you press the shutter half-way to focus on their face, and when you recompose the shot the camera then changes focus on something else? Well, there are tons of little factors that play into how your camera focuses, but one thing we need to understand is the focus MODE that our camera is set to and how that effects the way it handles focusing. One Shot: When you have your camera set to one shot (check your specific owner’s manual for how to do this), the camera will focus when you press the shutter button half-way down and lock it in, and then you finish pressing the shutter button all the way down to take the shot. This MODE is great for shooting stationary subjects that are not moving around. It is cool because you can focus on one thing (like their eyes) then recompose your shot (while keeping their eyes in focus) and then take the image. This helps you be more creative in framing your shots, especially if your camera only has a handful of focus points inside the view finder. The Canon 5D mark II only has 9 focus points... Read More

Nashville, TN Engagement Shoot – Brett + Shawna = Perfect

We were contacted a while back by this awesome couple and are sooo glad that they found us! We did an US session with them on Friday evening in Nashville and had a blast shooting their engagement photos all around town! These two are really cool and have a really amazing love for each-other that really came through in their shoot. We are sooo stoked to show everyone their super cute faces and can not wait to hang out with these guys again soon!! Enjoy the photos of these guys and to view their gallery once the photos are available online, click HERE! Love Shawna’s eyes in this shot! Gorgeous! This little sequence of them is so cute! Bringing out the inner Rock-Star! Those eyes! Congrats you two! We are soooo excited for... Read More