Robby & Katie Are Hitched! | A Gray Photography Team Wedding by Kristine

We have an awesome wedding to share with you that our team photographer, Kristine Neeley shot! Enjoy the images and her note below! I can’t even begin to tell you what a JOY it was to be a part of this wedding, and I mean that to the very core of my being. In so many ways I found it refreshing not just as a photographer but as a wife to my husband Cliff whom I was fortunate to have with me assisting that day. There was such a newness and purity to their love, and yet undoubtedly the sort of strength and commitment that it takes to make a marriage so much more than just a beautiful wedding. But it was beautiful, from the natural and simple aesthetic… the gorgeous weather… the way their family and friends (including too many Brentwood HS Young Lifers to even count!) surrounded, supported, and loved them. The whole day, I felt about as lucky as Katie and Robby did (okay, maybe they had the market on luck – or rather – grace, that day) – but really, I was pinching myself the whole time. Robby and Katie – truly a match made in heaven – thank you for allowing me the honor of being with you and documenting for you the beginning of your forever.   – Kristine Neeley To view images from this wedding once they are available online, CLICK HERE, to sign their virtual online guestbook. Vendors who helped make this day awesome: Wedding Coordinator: Ashley Klein with Simply Stunning Events Band/DJ: Scat Springs Band Makeup Artist: CG salon Hair... Read More

Friday Fun | True Confessions of a Starbucks-aholic

We like Starbucks. Ok, we’re a bit addicted. Why? Have no real idea… but that’s besides the point… Tax time has passed and so we have scoured our tax records and expenses and, thanks to Quickbooks, we can actually see how much we spent in 2010 at this coffee dig. We thought we would bring you in on the fun (ugh ;) so we are having a little contest… We want your guesses on how much you think we spent at Starbucks last year. This is everything business related and includes all of our Starbucks meetings to client gifts to Starbucks drinks and breakfast sandwiches we have grabbed on our way to weddings – anything business related…. oh yeah, and don’t forget our Starbucks mugs we have been getting :) Leave your guess in our comment form and the person who guesses the closest gets….. … (drumroll please) … yes, you guessed it, a $20 Starbucks gift card :) (ha ha… Add that amount to our 2011 tab!). Happy Guessing! The amount and winner will be announced next week in our Photography newsletter so make sure you’re signed... Read More

A Promo Code for Our Photographer Blog Readers!

Our Spring workshops have officially ended and we are already working on some exciting stuff starting in a month!!! Some of you know about it, but for those of you who don’t, we will be officially announcing it Monday!!!! Buuuuuuuuuut, we wanted to take this blog post and use it to specifically thank one of our IN-CAMERA workshop Sponsors, who sponsored all of the food & snacks for Sacramento, Maui and Nashville – Pixel 2 Canvas! We use Pixel 2 Canvas and their goodness can be seen up on our walls in our home! Because Pixel 2 Canvas loves us and our blog readers they have given us a promo code to share with you all!! We are really happy with their canvases and even more important, our clients are happy with them as well!! Enjoy a little perk for being a blog reader with 30% off an... Read More

Secret Service Shooter!

Hey all! This weeks  blog is about none other than communicating like a Secret Service agent/ninja! Let’s jump right in! When we are out shooting weddings, we have to be a lot of things to a lot of people. From tie tier (one who ties ties), dress bustler (one who bustles dresses), cake cutting instructor, to being the impromptu wedding planner! We have lots of jobs at the wedding, but the most important one is of course, being the photographer. And nothing is worse when shooting with a spouse, a second or an assistant and not being able to stay in constant communication. The hardest thing during a ceremony is trying to get another person’s attention when they are across the room or the on the other side of the vineyard, especially when you need them in two seconds AND they are totally in your shot (I, Zach am never in Jody’s shots just for the record ;) so, we need a way to stay in touch without having to pull out the cell phone and have guests thinking that we are updating our Facebook status. Insert awesome walkie talkies! (Thanks to Instagram for the photo!) Jody and I have been using these bad boys for the last few years and let us tell you, not only do you look cool as all get out, but they really come in handy when you need to chat! We can’t tell you how many times we have needed to say something really fast in order to get the other person’s attention to be able to nail a shot, get something done... Read More

Starbucks Trip Adventures | England

Can you believe that up until today we still had yet to blog on our Starbucks mug from England all the way back from JANUARY?? Talk about slackers!!! Well today we bring to you our trip reflections on the last part of our European journey – England!!! We were in England at the beginning of our trip for SWPP (Europe’s largest Wedding & Portrait conference) and then we had a day or so to enjoy a bit more of England at the end of our trip! We seriously had THE BEST time in England, and it was greatly in part due to the AMAZING people that we met there!! We were mainly with Showit while at SWPP and the photographers who we met through there were simply FANTASTIC. Oh my gosh, these peeps were amazing. Crazy us, we did not bring our camera out once at SWPP except for our two lighting photographer meetups that we did, and so we really do not have pictures of our time there!! We are pretty bummed about that :( However, the last night there was an awards banquet and a group of us got dressed up and headed on over. These below pictures were taken with Gisela’s point and shoot. Thank-you, girl!! The ladies… Me, Jaz, Serena, Gisela, Melissa Love. (Alex not pictured, so sad!) The men… minus Andrew… Zach, Kevin, DJ We had a wonderful time at SWPP meeting the fabulous photographers out there, eating at some cool places, being a part of Showit, speaking at the conference itself, and man, just so many good memories!! One evening we went out... Read More

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

Nashville, TN IN-CAMERA: Light Workshop Re-Cap!

We had an amazing time at our lighting workshop even though we literally had a tornado touch down about 5 minutes drive from where we were! It was a crazy fun day watching the rain move horizontally and cool because we were forced to shoot in the worst conditions, and still got amazing shots! We started out going over the process in our home hanging with our 18 shooters that came out, and got deep into the system that we use to set up strobe shots in just a few seconds. We also went over composition and lenses to get a feel for how we can approach lighting shots. We also got into gear, how to shoot strobe with what you already have, and how to get into gear that will stop the sun in its tracks! This first shot, which was actually the last shot we took, was one that we did indoors with just one off-camera light. This image is right out of camera with a custom black and white conversion. There is no skin retouching done, because the way we lit the shot really makes everything look sleek and smooth! Here we were demoing a new umbrella that just came out from Westcott Lighting. This $99 umbrella pops open to become a 7 foot parobolic shoot through modifier and you can use it with a 580 flash, or a high powered strobe. It makes for some AWESOME light anywhere! This above shot was taken with that GIANT 7 foot umbrella and you can see how well it lights the image. Awesome! After the workshop, we all... Read More

Sneak Peek!! | Stephen & Scarlett Are Married!

Aw snap! We just got back into town from the fab wedding of Stephen Knuth & Scarlett Lillian and we are PUMPED to show you this little sneak peek into their wedding! We have SO much to write about their beautiful day (it was amazing!) and cannot WAIT to share it with you all! In the meantime, to hold you over, we have a little, tiny, sneak peek to share with you! We have put a few more images up on Facebook… Make sure to friend us... 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

Nashville, TN IN-CAMERA: Shooting & Post Re-Cap!

What an awesome time we had with the crew of 20 photographers that came out to the workshops this past Sunday! We had shooters from all over and had a really great time getting to meet so many new faces! We absolutely love that we get to do this and have loved every minute hanging with our new friends! We started off the Nashville photography workshops at our home in Franklin with some teaching time talking about our process for nailing your exposure in the camera with perfect color and great lighting no matter what the conditions. Then, after lunch, we headed out to shoot! Check out some of the images from the day below! So we headed out with the crew to do the first shot, and the lighting conditions were really bad. We had the direct sun on us and wanted to shoot without having the houses in the background, which put that direct sun right on our amazingly cool models face. Now, sometimes direct sun can be cool, but the angle this was coming in was not ideal. So, we brought in a diffusion panel and a reflector to help the situation. :) Here is the shot with the direct sun on it. Not too cool! Then, once we brought in the gear and made the light look nice and soft, we got the below! Just slightly better than the first one. :) Here we were shooting with the sun directly to our models back, so we added lots of light to the front to really add some wrap around light. We all walked over to... Read More

Is Your Brand Consistent?

Today’s post is applicable to all business and we’re going to be talking about consistent branding! What is brand consistency? Brand consistency is when all elements of your business work together to create a cohesive and united front. Let’s take a look at a fantastic case study. About three or so years ago, a new sandwich shop opened here in Franklin, TN called Which Wich. We thought it was maybe just another Subway but oh, no, my friends – this was much more and very well thought out and cool! We could talk about quite a few things in regards to Which Wich and business (like how it’s a total experience eating there) but we’ll just stay focused on their branding for today. If any company milks their brand for all it’s worth, it’s Which Wich. They have their logo: But then practically EVERYTHING throughout their restaurant points back to that branding and helps envelope you in the experience of Which Wich. For those of you who have never walked into a Which Wich or don’t have them nearby, we feel we might have to explain a bit of what happens when you go into their store to understand their branding elements. 1. You walk into the store, look at their menu and grab a sandwich bag to mark which kind of sandwich you want. 2. Then you go up to the counter and place your order. They take your sandwich bag and put it on a wire, and it slides across as the sandwich artists make your ‘wich! For those who are the creative/crazy/fun types (cough *Zach*), you can... Read More

Maui, Hawaii IN-CAMERA: Light Photography Workshop Recap

On day two of our Maui, Hawaii workshops we headed out into the city for the first part of the shooting time, then straight out to the beach for some awesome sunset shots! We had a great crew with us that day and had a blast showing how just one light can drastically change the look of your images and tone down the sky for some really unique looking shots. We started up against this cool green wall between a few buildings for a demo shot to show the difference between the natural light (which was actually pretty decent) and the strobe shots. The shot above was with the natural light. We had some nice light coming in and bouncing off the wall to camera left, but the light was not the most flattering for our model and we really wanted to show how we could shape the light with our strobe. So we came in and set up the light, metered it (thanks to Ajja for the behind the scenes shot!) and took the next shot below! In this above image, you can see how we added some shadows and contrast to camera right by placing our light to camera left, which helped define the lines of our models face and also made her the brightest part of the shot which makes your eye go straight to her. I love the definition and contrast that this adds to the final image as well. Many photographers ask us how we add contrast to images in post to get the look of our shots. The simple answer is, we don’t... Read More

A Gray Photography Team Wedding by Jessica Rai | Rob & Linda are Hitched!

We have beautiful wedding of a beautiful couple that we are bringing to you today! This Gray Photography wedding was shot by Jessica Rai and we hope you enjoy it!! I was so honored to capture the first Cedarwood wedding of the year & even more honored to have photographed such a sweet couple! I don’t think I could possibly say enough about Rob & Linda! I loved this couple and their amazing family and friends. Linda was an absolutely stunning bride with the most amazingly positive attitude. It was a cold, rainy day, but Linda didn’t even let that phase her, she never once even mentioned the rain! She was just ecstatic about seeing her groom :) Rob was such a great guy & he was just as excited about seeing Linda for the first time that day. Their ceremony was so sweet & Linda never stopped smiling the entire time. The reception was filled with lots of sweet toasts from dear friends & family & plenty of dancing & good times. I love it when I get the opportunity to photograph a couple that is head over heals in love with each other & that’s exactly what I got with Rob & Linda. I wish the two of you many, many years of happiness & I hope you enjoy these photos as much as I enjoyed capturing them! – Jessica Rai To view images from Rob & Linda’s wedding once they become available online, CLICK HERE to sign their virtual guestbook. A big thanks goes out to all of the awesome vendors who were a part of... Read More

Maui IN-CAMERA Photography Workshop Recap | Shooting & Post and Business

Whew! What a whirlwind trip we had the last few weeks traveling around and getting to meet tons of amazing photographers! Just before we headed out from Sacramento to Maui, we did a quick stop off in San Diego to hang with our amazing friends Jeff and Erin Youngren and speak at their amazing PUG group that they run once a month. We had about 60+ photographers that came out to hear us, and they also stream it live and had around 350 shooters tuning in from all over the country! It was a blast to meet everyone there and hear all the stories of what people are doing to build their businesses better and bigger. Then, we we headed out and spent a full week in Maui and had a GREAT time there! Before we say anymore, we have a HUGE thanks to send out to the amazing Anna Kim. Without this awesome gal, these workshops would not have happened!! We arrived on Thursday and hit the ground running speaking at the Smug Mug that local photographer Anna Kim runs over there. We met some really great photographers and even had a little iguana listening in on our talk! Big thanks Ajja DeShayne and Anna Kim for their behind the scenes shots all throughout! On Friday we hit up the PUG led by Mike Adrian, and met some more great people there and had dinner afterward at this really cool place with delicious food! Sadly, we didn’t bring the camera so we have no visuals to share with you :) Just live with it. ;) On Sunday our... Read More

Friday Fun | Tasting the Explosion

With all the traveling we have been doing as of late, it’s easy to get worn out, drained and disconnected. To remedy that, we make sure to take some time out, just for us, no business talk allowed and have fun… We did just that in Sacramento…. Enjoy our candy store... Read More