Architecture and Design | bands and artists | Family, Kids, Maternity and Weddings | head shots and portraits | Photography business

2012 A Look Back

By on January 9, 2013

A few years ago I made a slideshow using  photos from every assignment I shot during the year. The idea stuck and has become a great way for me to reflect on what I did right and what I did wrong during the year. 2012 was both challenging and incredibly rewarding. All of those experiences brought one theme to the forefront – Family is Everything. And by family I’m not limiting myself to the family I was born into or married into. It’s the people that I have chosen to surround myself with. This year we have had the warm blanket of family wrapped around us when we needed it and we were able to be that same blanket of warmth and strength for others when they needed it. This year was life-changing for so many of our friends and loved ones.

Over the past couple years I’ve skipped using photos of my family in the slideshow, after all they weren’t paid assignments and so many were just snapshots. This year I’ve included them because my wife and kids are my world and are definitely the most photographed subject in my life. I also opted to include more than one image from the assignments. Limiting myself  to one single image per shoot didn’t represent the scope and the fruits of my labor.

As with every slide show I always struggle with music. Each year I want to use a song that I fell in love with during the year. This year there were a couple of contenders.

Mumford & Sons – I will wait
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Thrift Shop I dare you to not bounce your head while listening to this song. I was bouncing  my head for a couple weeks before I even listened to the words.
Ryan Adams – From The Ashes   In January NPR streamed a pre-lease of this entire album. I listened to it over and over until the day it was released. Go buy it directly from his label/website. 
Walk the Moon – Anna Sun  
This is probably my favorite song on the album but I opted for Tightrope becaue it matched the tempo I wanted for the slideshow.

 

For those of you that supported me and helped me create this year I owe you a world of thanks. Without you I’d be stuck behind some desk.

Year End Review Slide Show 2012 from Chuck Espinoza on Vimeo.

 

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Architecture and Design | head shots and portraits

Environmental Portraits for Creative Professionals

By on August 7, 2012
Tina - K. Marie Design - environmental portrait
Tina – K. Marie Design – environmental portrait

I am a firm believer that professionals should have a good head shot. For executive professionals the image is usually used for speaking engagements, annual reports, websites and newsletters. Most executives come to me because they need  a head shot. I think it is even more important for service-oriented professionals to have a great head shot.  Creative professionals tend to come to me because they want  a head shot. That was the case with Tina. She wanted a head shot for her new website and marketing materials.

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Architecture and Design | Family, Kids, Maternity and Weddings

Reviewing 2011

By on January 2, 2012

It was an interesting year…for everyone. Many parts of the world changed and so did my business.If you want to check how my business is doing please click here.

When I was in college it took me three years to stumble into a finance class and enjoy it enough to declare it as my major. In order to weed people out, the school of business required eight pre-requisities before applying. Once in the school of business I gravitated to finance and made a decision I wanted to be a sell-side analyst. At the time, circa 1995, the market was on a tear straight up. The faces and voices of the market were the sell-side analysts on CNBC. I decided I wanted to be an analyst. I didn’t know what their day-to-day activities were nor what was really involved with being an analyst (a two word description would be Sell Stock) but that was my goal. Once I got there I realized I made an uneducated decision and grew to hate it.

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Architecture and Design

I’m not a travel photographer

By on July 23, 2010

We just got back from a week long trip to Cancun. Although I love to travel and I love shooting new locations, a travel photographer I am not.  I look at and admire travel photographs; I love seeing the ordinary made beautiful by focusing on color, shapes and details. I just don’t see like that. I pick up a camera and look at the shelves full of Mexican “souvenirs” and I don’t see anything worth shooting. When I do take the shot I typically think they are boring and/or cliche.

I typically photograph people and architecture (and my fam). When I look back at the travel photos I’ve taken they inevitably have people in the shot or a building I found interesting. While reviewing the shots I took in Cancun and I noticed that I shot with my iPhone more than my 5D and you’ll only find a handful of scenic photos, the following being the only one I like and it was shot with my iPhone.

Cancun – Moon Palace

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Architecture and Design

Renaissance Towers for About:Space

By on March 11, 2010

A couple weeks ago I got a call from the interior designers at About:Space. They were finishing up on a project for the Renaissance Towers downtown and wanted to submit photos of their work for an industry award. Their work involved upgrading the lobby and leasing office as well as designing the new penthouse. The following shots are samples from our two day shoot.

Renaissance Towers Leasing Office Design
Renaissance Towers Leasing Office Design
Renaissance Towers Lobby Design
Renaissance Towers Lobby Design

As much as tried to integrate it into the shot, I just couldn’t manage to get the helicopter pad just outside the windows on the right to read. Next time I’ll request a helicopter.

Renaissance Towers Penthouse Living Room
Renaissance Towers Penthouse Living Room
Renaissance Towers Penthouse Master Bedroom
Renaissance Towers Penthouse Master Bedroom

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Architecture and Design | Family, Kids, Maternity and Weddings | head shots and portraits

Why you should hire me to shoot your ________

By on February 26, 2010

I recently lost a job based on price. I had already provided the “bro hookup” discount since the client was friends with my wife. The client was able to find a photographer willing to provide more for less. Does it make sense to lose a sizable job over an additional 20% discount? (in this case yes) What’s that “bird in the hand” saying?

The experience got me thinking about why you should hire me. My first inclination was to say that great photography is the reason to hire me but that’s not enough and that’s not even the main reason.

Hire me to shoot your wedding, children, engagement session, portrait, head shot, your home, your new design, _______(fill in the blank) because:

Heidi
Heidi Heaslet Fashion Shoot

1. Because you like me as a person and you want to do business with me.  For most photography projects I spend a fair amount of time with my clients. It could be intimate situations like an expectant mother’s first maternity photo shoot, visiting the home of new parents to take pictures of their newborn, spending a couple days shooting a project for an interior designer or spending a day with a bride, groom and their closest friends and family. I could be the best photographer in the world, but if you don’t like me, don’t want me around or don’t trust me, the quality of my work doesn’t matter.

2. Hire me because you believe in, and trust in, my ability as a photographer. I’m not a “wedding photographer”. I’m not a “family portrait photographer”. I’m not an “architectural photographer”. I’m a photographer that happens to shoot all of the previous mentioned types of photography. There’s enough of my work online for people to get an accurate view of the quality of my work, my ability to think on my feet and the quality of the finished product I deliver to my clients.

Pacific Palisades infinity pool for Knight Landscaping and Design
Pacific Palisades infinity pool for Knight Landscaping and Design

Want to know how I picked my wedding photographer? I looked through a box a proofs. While sifting through hundreds of proofs from my friend Josh’s wedding the main thing that stood out with Selima was consistency. The great majority of the images were solid, and as a whole they were great. I encourage and often show my potential wedding clients the proofs from the weddings I have shot and tell them this is what you can expect. I’ve heard so many stories from friends and clients who were duped into hiring a photographer based on the 20 images they saw on a website.

3. Hire me because you want something different. Hire me to shoot your wedding because of my fashion work. Hire me to shoot your architectural work because of the unique images I shot of your neighbors kids. Hire me because you know that whatever circumstances I am put in I can get the shot.

Norah Portrait Shoot
Norah Portrait Shoot

I’m not sure where money and cost factor in. It’s an important factor but not the most important. I made a decision early on not to compete on price. If you want to price shop photography there are a ton of photographer’s who will compete on price. Creativity and art are subjective. The cost and perceived value is up to you.

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