Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Blog Is Moving!

Well, I think this blog has served me well for the last 3 years... but I think its time for something new and not so shiny. I prefer Clean!

So if you're a fan of my work and would like to follow my posts, please join me on the new blog. Its still a work in progress right now, but its mostly done! Go check it out and let me know what you think of it.

The new blog address is as follows:

Thanks everyone for your continuing support, and see you boys and girls on the new blog.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Shraddha & Edward | Engagement Session, Part 1

Like the other clients of 2011, Shraddha and Edward decided to do their engagement session this year vs. next year. Sounds like a good plan, right? Well... kinda.

This lovely couple is the dirty souf, aka Atlanta. We've been emailing back and forth, planning this engagement session for a little while and it started off on the wrong foot this morning, in the shape of a cold front coming through Houston. Yes, the weekend they're here to do their engagement pictures. This morning, it rained. Then it started to clear and I was happy. But of course that was short lived, because it got windy... and with the temperatures being in the 50s and 60s, the wind doesn't make it too pleasant. None the less, we decided to go for it and brave the cold and wind.

That lasted a whopping hour and half.

So after much deliberation and a badass steak for Edward from Texas Roadhouse (he'd never been!), we've come to the conclusion that this weather is not going to push us around. So when they come back for their wedding next year, we're going to finish this session and make it all complete. Hence the reason there's a "Part 1" in the title of this post.

So for now, enjoy what pictures we did capture from tonight and let them know that they rock by leaving them a comment or two.

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

My Moo Card Experience (and Review)

For the past few months, I'd been searching for a good place that can print high quality business cards. I'm not talking about the 10,000 cards for $2 places that just pump them out and don't care about quality... I'm talking quality, feel, etc.

Then one day during the summer, my good friend Clint Davis - and the twin of my favorite TV character, Dexter - posted about Moo Cards on his blog.

I'd heard about Moo Cards and I'd even seen some samples, but being so A.D.D sometimes, I just didn't think of it at first to look them up. Perfect, Moo was the way to go for me... or was it?

The biggest advantage with Moo is that you can put up to 50 different pictures on the back of your cards, high quality and all. So not only are cards going to give your info to your potential clients, you can also have it act as a partial portfolio for yourself. Brilliant! I sifted through my work for the last 2 years and picked some of the best pictures I had taken at weddings and engagement sessions. All in all, I ended up with 39 total pictures. Here are some of the examples of what I picked...

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Now it was time to do the front side of the card.

On Moo's site, it recommends you to use the following dimensions with 300dpi resolutions.

Moo Recommendations

Not so hard to create it, right? I go into Photoshop, create a very simple 300dpi JPEG with my logo and basic info for the front of the cards at the recommended dimensions. I then uploaded the pictures and waited anxiously for my cards.

In about a week, I received my first batch of cards. I was so excited, I ripped the package to pieces like a 3 year old on christmas morning and took the cards out for a glance at the quality.

Imagine my disappointment when I saw their awesome packaging, awesome picture quality, with an absolutely ruined front side of the card. The quality was so bad, it looked like my name and logo had been smeared all over the card... on EVERY card.

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So I emailed Moo that weekend and received an apology email back from them with an attempt to correct the problem. Mad or not, I have to say as a customer, I appreciate that. They also told me that "usually" a 300dpi JPEG shouldn't have any issues, but just in case, send them a Vectored PDF to ensure correction of the bleeding issue around the letters.

Not having access to a program that does anything in a Vector format, I emailed Clint (a.k.a Dexter). He was gracious enough to not only redo the front side of the card for me, but also fix a small part of my logo that was bugging me. The "S" in Sassani looked a little choppy in my logo, so he cleaned it up (His doing is on the right).

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So now, I sent the Vectored PDF to Moo and expected the new batch to be a-ok, and here's what I got...

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The SAME thing... reprinted. Although they weren't as bad as the first batch, they still weren't right and I was quite pissed. So I emailed Moo AGAIN and told them the same JPEG file was printed instead of vectored PDF they had requested. So now, I have 400 cards that are nearly useless.

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Moo apologized again and asked for the PDF file to reprint the cards yet again. Being a little hesitant, I went ahead and sent the PDF file and waited.

After another week or so (its been nearly a month since my initial order), I received my 3rd set of cards. This time, as they said, the PDF worked like a charm. The batch is perfect and Clint is my savior. Thanks Clint!

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So now I'm left with a dilemma. Now that I know what issue was and its been fixed, do I use them again, or do I start searching for another place? Honestly, that question is easy for me to answer. Yes, I'll use them again... and here's why:

Throughout the whole process, they attempted to fix their mistake. They were gracious enough to print me new cards and even though they had a hiccup with the second batch, they printed the cards until the issue was corrected. The quality and thickness of the cards is awesome, and the pictures look oh so sexy on the backside. Now that the front side is also fixed, these are what I would say are the perfect cards for anyone with a visual portfolio and I would recommend them to anyone.

So if you're looking for business cards and you like great quality, give Moo Cards a chance and know that they stand behind their product 100%. I'm quite happy with my cards and I'll be reordering once I run out of them... and this time, with the correct Vector PDF file the awesome Clint Davis designed for me.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Tracy & Chris | Couples Session, Houston TX

Some of might remember Tracy's photoshoot from earlier this year. She's a local film photographer who's extremely talented and also a great person. check out her work HERE!

When we did our shoot earlier this year, it was supposed to be a two part thing. But the weather was so weird and ever so changing, we never got a chance to do the second session. Now that I'm done with weddings for the year, I contacted her and told her to 'lets do this'. So just like I do with all my clients, I told her to pick a couple of locations and lets get to work. She chose an urban, downtown-y, edgy place Chris and her both liked... the Flying Saucer. So yesterday, we went downtown Houston and took some casual and fun pictures of the two of them.

They're also both Cigar aficionados, and Chris manages a cigar shop in the Houston area... so we thought it'd be great to have their love for cigars put into the pictures.

Check out the session and show them some love by leaving a comment for them!


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Monday, November 1, 2010

Anna & Frank | Houston, TX Enagagement

One of the things I do is ask my clients to pick a few locations that have personal meaning to them to take pictures at for their engagements. Personal, Sentimental, anything... and most of them respond with very cool locations. Anna & Frank were obviously no different.

They met at the Univ. of Houston, so one of the locations they picked was the campus. To be specific, they actually met while working as lifeguards at the school swimming pool, so being me... I had to make 'that' picture a cool one. So this past weekend, we started out at the Univ. of Houston campus recreation center, then moved on to their other passion. Their dogs!

I'm a big softy when it comes to Great Danes, because I've always wanted one, but room at our place (and my wife) never allowed it. Now with a kid and other responsibilities, its hard to own one. So, I live vicariously through other owners of Great Danes. And let me tell you, I loved Brutus... and Dakota (their Lab) was pretty awesome too!

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Friday, October 29, 2010

Pumpkins & Hook 'ems.

Kami's growing up way too fast, and I'm not as picture happy with him now as I was even a year or so ago. But every year, I *have* to take Halloween pictures of him. Its 3 years running so far, and I can't wait to keep adding more.

And for those who do not know, Kami knows how to throw his 'Hook em Horns' hand gesture pretty well already. So well in fact fact, that one of the kids at his Montessori school ran up to me a few weeks ago as I was picking him up, gave me a big thumbs up and told me "GIG 'EM, and you can tell KAMI'S MOMMY THAT!". That made me proud!

Looks like we're raising our boy right!

Happy Halloween everyone.