Lighting a Mountain Top

Today  we are out holding our workshops in Denver teaching shooting and business & marketing workshops. However, we did want to share a cool image that was taken yesterday at our IN-CAMERA: Light workshop and show the set-up! How did we get this awesome shot with the our fab model, Chad? First, we want to show you what the natural lighting looked like. During Sunday’s Shooting &Post workshop we went up to this amazing spot at the top of a mountain here in Golden, CO, and found this awesome overlook where we could see the sky. We had this amazing rock formation that was really cool, but unfortunately, the lighting was pretty dark since this area was shaded by a tree, and when we exposed for our models face, the sky ended up being blown out. The below shot shows you what the natural light was doing…   Once we made it back to this same location for our lighting workshop, it was late in the day. We knew that the ambient light was really dark in this area (because of some trees around), but also knew that it had awesome potential if we could add some light to it! The background sky was beautiful and we really wanted to capture that in the image. So, we set up a background light (just a 580EX Speedlight on a stand with a Pocket Wizard triggering it – power at full power) to give some lighting to those same rocks our model was standing on the day before, and put an orange CTO gel on it for some added color and... Read More

Denver Travels Recap | Speaking, Touring & First day of workshops!

We have been in Denver since Thursday and have had an amazing time so far! We spoke at Denver’s Mile High Photographers group! (thanks to Angie & Andie Wood’s phone for this shot! :) Had a tour with our fab workshop host Stacey Kyler and her hubby Will of Fresco and Breckinridge… And our first day of workshops was yesterday! Here is a sneak peek into one of the images taken yesterday! All IN-CAMERA, baby! (Thanks to model Jade!) The photographers here are so nice and we LOVE this area! Ah, we just might not want to leave on Wednesday :) Until next... Read More

Marketing Strategy Chapter 2

Welcome to today’s Tuesday Tips and Tricks! Today, we are delving back into the book The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing which has quickly become one of the most influential books we have yet to read. We were first turned onto this book by marketing genius Kevin Swan from Swan Luxury Events. You may remember in our first post on this book, Marketing strategy chapter 1, that we did back in January, that we talked about the Law of of Leadership which states, “It is better to be first, than it is to be better.” We talked about how no one really cares what product is better, but they do care about what product they THINK is better. No one sells inferior products (and states that they do so) so why would we waste our time saying that we have a good product? But we still talk a lot in our marketing about how “our photos are the best photos and our albums are the best albums!” Well, who is not selling the best albums? So we came to the conclusion that our clients perception of us is the most important thing to focus on for Law 1 to go into effect. Today, we are talking about Law 2, The Law of the Category. In law 1, we talked about how Charles Lindbergh was the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic ocean. Everyone remembers him because he was first and NO one remembers who did it second. The 2nd person to fly solo over the Atlantic was Bert Hinkler. Even though Bert Hinkler flew over the Atlantic... Read More

Our Indy PUG Adventures

Last week we were in the great state of Indiana! We were speaking at the local PUG there run by Tim & Megan King and what a great group that turned out! A shout out to those who made the 3 hour drive from South Bend!! So great to meet you all!! Here are a few images from the event, thanks to Megan King :) Tim getting ready to hand the floor to the business genius Kevin Swan to introduce us.     So great to see all of you who came out!!!    ... Read More

Winner of Starbucks and Adorma & SanDisk Business Workshop Announced!

This is what you have been waiting ALL weekend for, right? The winner of the $25 Starbucks gift card and a free seat to the business workshop we are doing put on by Adorama and Sandisk in New York is….. @RhemaFaith! Rhema – contact us at with your mailing address and if you will be able to attend the workshop in NY, and we will get you your prize! For the rest of you who may be wondering what this is all about… We will be in New York on September 21st from 5:30 to 8pm talking about all things business AND doing a lighting demo right there on the streets of New York! This is going to be a blast and the coolest thing is, the workshop is only $25! You also get a $25 gift card to buy some gear at Adorama, so the workshop is basically free! We hope to see all of you there and if you are ready to sign up and get in on the goodness (seating is limited and this baby is selling fast!) then sign up right HERE!... Read More

New York New York Here We Come! | Adorama Business Workshop!!

We are beyond excited that we have been asked to do a joint business workshop with Adorama and Sandisk at the massive and amazing Adorama store in New York City! Want to WIN a FREE seat to the workshop AND a $25 Starbucks gift card?! Here is how you can win! (Can’t make it to NY for the workshop? That’s ok! You can at least win a $25 Starbucks gift certificate). 1. Follow Zach & Jody on Twitter ( 2. Follow Adorama on Twitter ( and SanDisk 3. Sign up for Zach & Jody’s Photographer newsletter for free monthly exclusive photo tips & tricks ( 4. Tweet the following message Text for you to copy for Twitter: WIN a FREE $25 Starbucks gift card & seat to @GrayPhotography workshop w/ @adorama and @sandisk! Info-   The winner will be picked at random from the Twitter Universe and we will send you the Starbucks card and get you in for free! If you can’t make the workshop, no worries! You can still win and we will give your seat to the next in line, but you get to keep the Starbucks card and the thrill of knowing you are number 1!! :) We are super pumped to be coming to Adorama, so here is some more info on the gig! We will be in New York on September 21st from 5:30 to 8pm talking about all things business AND doing a lighting demo right there on the streets of New York! This is going to be a blast and the coolest thing is, the workshop is only $25!... Read More

Keep It Simple (Stupid ;o)

Hey all! Today we want to chat about a topic that has become beyond important in our day to day business lives. Simplicity! simplicity: relates to the burden which a thing puts on someone trying to explain or understand it; the opposite of complexity.   Time is a really valuable asset and quickly becomes the only thing you have left once your business gets off the ground. Using it to the best of your ability is one of the main things that will help you grow your business. As our business began to really take of in 2008, we realized this principle really fast! We started to run out of time, and noticed that even the most remedial tasks needed a serious overhaul if we wanted to keep expanding what we were doing. We started looking at everything from how we downloaded our images, how we shot, how we edited, how we tracked our finances and everything in between to make sure that we were not wasting time doing things we shouldn’t. One area that was overlooked for quite some time, was wedding albums. We started to finally realize how much time we were spending doing things the hard way. We finally decided to make a change (gasp!) and switch album companies for 2011. Change can be hard in your business, and change can be scary. But many times this is just what you need to shake up your thinking and set you back on the path to succeeding!     We officially switched over to KISS books as our exclusive album company and do not offer any other... Read More

Michigan Speaking & Workshop Recap!

Last week we were in Michigan speaking at the local PPA group and then we held our IN-CAMERA: Light workshop! We had an awesome time being back home in my (Jody) stomping grounds, and it was so great meeting the other photographers there! Here is us at MTPPA (thanks to mi madre, Patty Brouillet for grabbing this shot for us).   Once again, a big thanks to MTPPA for bringing us out! On Thursday, we had our IN-CAMERA: Light workshop. Thanks to Jason Aten for letting us use his awesome studio space and it was the perfect spot to once again, hold our workshops. Check out the shots from the workshop!   In the below shot, we were demoing a before and after with the lighting techniques that we were using that day. We set up the shot, then took a natural lit shot to show what it looked like before.   In this before image, the lighting is OK, but is not super directional and is a little flat looking. Then, not going too far dramatically with the lighting, we added some directional light with the strobe and got a much cleaner, better looking lit shot. :)   Here is another behind the scenes shot of one of our set ups.   Then, once we lit it, we got the awesome blue sky and added some serious drama to the image! In this last set up, we wanted to show what adding one extra, small light source in the background can do to an image. Here, as the light was getting really low, we shot an image in... Read More

Happy One-Year Anniversary, Ryan & Sarah!!

A year ago today the sweetest couple, Ryan & Sarah Addison got hitched right here in Nashville, TN and we had the honor of capturing their day for them. We loooooove these two and still have yet to get our cooking double-date in the books at the Viking store! :) Even though the weather was HOT, Ryan & Sarah handled it like pros and their wedding day was beautiful, not only due to the friends and family who were there to celebrate with them, but because of all the fab details that Sarah and Ryan planned out! What a beautiful day it was. Congratulations, you two and thanks for letting us be a part of your day :) To view the full wedding day blog of their Cathedral of Incarnation & War Memorial ceremony & reception, click HERE.  ... Read More

Friday Fun | How SkyMall Can Make Your Marriage Stronger :)

And now it is time, folks, to bring you our latest SkyMall find in honor of our travels to Michigan this week! For those of you who may not be aware, we like to occasionally blog on some oh-so-awesome SkyMall finds – some that can better your business, and some that can better other areas of your life… In honor of us talking about marriage this week, we thought that this SkyMall find would be one that can help make your marriage better!… well, kind of. Having activities to do together can really bring you and your spouse closer together so our SkyMall find does just that! We introduce to you…. The Marshmallow Shooter!!!! You may be asking how this can be a fun marriage activity – but how can it NOT? Need some help with ideas on what to do with your marshmallow shooter? Wonder no more. 1. Hide behind bushes and see collectively how many car taillights you can hit. 2. Play chubby bunny, ever-so-carefully, shooting marshmallows in each other’s mouth. 3. Come Christmastime, decorate your house together with “snowman poop” aiming at the highest places nooks and crannies (of course for the kids to clean up ;). 4. Make hot chocolate and then top off the other’s cup seeing who can land the most marshmallows. And the final idea….! 5. Put little buckets in your living room that each have a prize and try and land a marshmallow in the appropriate buckets. Happy Friday and happy marriage!!!!... Read More

All you need is love?

(Think Princess Bride as you read the below… :) Mawwiage… Mawwiage is whut bwings us togethuh today…. Ah, that has to be one of my (Jody) favorite quotes from Princess Bride short of “My name is Inigo Montonya… You killed my father. Prepare to die.” :) Anyone, anyone? Fun and games aside, we are here to talk about marriage! As I was waiting for Zach the other day, I wondered in the magazine aisle and started reading an article in Marie Claire on an interview they had with actress Olivia Wilde. They were discussing her recent divorce to husband of 7 or 8 years, and she said this: “Our deal from the beginning was, ‘We’re crazy to do this, but we’re doing it because we’re in love and it makes us happy. The only reason to divorce is if one of us isn’t happy. Life is too short.’ After trying to make the relationship evolve in the way our lives had, I realized it wasn’t a natural evolution. When the relationship becomes about working to make it work, it’s lost that beauty and that optimistic bohemian sense that brought us together. I don’t think love should be work… we tried and it wasn’t making us happy.” This totally bummed me out. AND it made me mad that this is the message that is getting pushed out there. Things too hard? Not happy? Ah, just quit then. Before we got married we always had people say to us “Marriage is a lot of work” and I never really GOT that… until we became married of course. Marriage IS a lot... Read More

Composition Part 2

Welcome to part 2 composition posts! Composition, we believe, is one of the hardest things to master in photography in general, especially in wedding photography because everything is moving so fast and sometimes you literally have seconds to nail a shot. Plus, you are not just shooting people, but products like the shoes and rings, architecture like the reception locations, and you are shooting candid and posed shots all in the same day. Oh, and the lighting is all over the place with all kinds of varying other conditions. Not an easy job to begin with and definitely not easy to think about the perfect composition in the midst of all that! So, today is one more simple technique that you can easily use and remember to help add that extra wow factor to your wedding shots. Today, we are going to be talking about Leading Lines.   Any time that we can grab our couple, the shoes, the bridesmaids and bride and so on and create some dramatic lines that lead us into the shot we are doing, we do it! Finding lines that point to our subject and lining them up to do so is a great technique that really makes our images much more interesting and dynamic. So, less talk and more pics! Let’s break down a few different styled shots and see how the lines made the images that much better.   The below image was shot at the Montaluce Winery north of Atlanta back in 2009. It rained the entire day and Jody went out onto the balcony of the estate room the bride was... Read More

Michigan Bound

This morning we are catching a flight and flying out to the good ‘ol state of Michigan. It will be a fairly fast but fun trip where tomorrow we will be speaking at Lansing’s PPA group (open to all – more specific info here) and then leading our IN-CAMERA: Light workshop on Thursday (a few seats left for those of you interested. More info here)! We’re looking forward to visiting the state where I (Jody) grew up and meeting some more photographers out there! Hope you all have FANTASTIC weeks and don’t forget to check back tomorrow where we will have our Tuesday Photography Tips &... Read More

Giving Clean Water through Our Workshops | Plus One and YOU!

We have some exciting news! Over 240 children will be receiving clean water through our workshops so far! For those of you who may not be aware, we have partnered our business and workshops with Thirst Relief and founder Jim Davis Hicks!! Thirst Relief was started by a photographer, Jim Davis Hicks, who simply has a passion to help those that need help the most. Those who don’t have something as simple as clean water. One of the biggest causes of disease and death in third world countries, especially among children, is water-born illness. Children in these countries drink unclean water, get sick, and their fragile bodies can’t fight it off. Jim Davis realized that he could do something about this problem by bringing in sand filters that are easy to maintain by the locals and easy to use, and thus was born Thirst Relief. Every filter can last for up to 25 years and can help a community live longer lives by having clean water to drink, and they have now helped thousands around the world fix this problem! How cool is that?!   As we have been out speaking and meeting so many amazing photographers around the country, we have been asking the question, “do you want your life to be about something bigger than yourself?” And we have heard a resounding YES; all of us do!! We want our lives to impact others and help others. Nothing in life is more fulfilling than when you take your resources and help those that can’t help themselves. That can be anything from an encouraging word, loving someone who... Read More

The Schermerhorn Symphony Wedding of Wai and Erin

We had the awesome opportunity to shoot the amazing wedding of Erin and Wai, a couple from Hong Kong, who were married here in Nashville at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. The wedding was incredible and our couple was great! We were not able to meet these two until the wedding day, which can sometimes be tricky, but they made it soooo easy to connect and get some amazing images. The guys were all rock-star cool and Erin was beyond stunning and had the bling to go with it. Everything from her dress to her necklace were just perfect! We had such a fun time with Erin and Wai and their wedding guests and we were glad to have been a part of their wedding! Mary Natalie (Wedding by Mary Natalie) ROCKED the details of the day with her mad planning skillz and made this a blast to shoot! Want to check out even more images? Sign up for the online gallery HERE to see them all!! Congrats you two and enjoy the images!!   Vendors who helped make this day awesome!! Wedding Planner: Weddings by Mary Natalie Third Shooter Ceremony and Assistant: Emil Florals: Elaine McCord Hair: Mary Malone Reception Spot Lighting & After Party Lighting: Nashville Event Lighting Makeup: Davina Quinonez Venue: Schermerhorn Symphony Center After Party DJ: Nashville Party Authority Photo Booth: PhotoBooth Nashville Reception Band: Patton James Cake: Jay with Maples Cakes Rentals: Southern Events Draping- Blue Nova Ceremony musicians: Schermerhorn Symphony Invitations: Southall Eden... Read More

Our Family Camp Fun

This last week we flew off to Wisconsin to attend family camp at Camp Forest Springs with Zach’s dad, his wife, and two of Zach’s younger brothers. We have done this for the last two years but THIS year my (Jody) mom, sister and her husband and their daughter came out as well! We had a really great time and wanted to share just a few photos. Below is my brother-in-law, Nathan, and my sister Jacq and my mom! Here is Jan and her hubby (Zach’s dad), Keith with my niece, Lila! Here is me and a distance relative, Ryan! He and I went kayaking and got in a splashing fight which ended up with both of us sopping wet :) Me and my cutest-niece-ever, Lila! Isn’t she adorable? (Image provided by my sister). My sister tried to get a few group shots, but it was nearing nap-time so someone was a little fussy…. we went along with it :)   My favorite… lol. And the group! So fun! Yay for family time :)... Read More