Tuesday, February 23, 2010

E-session Adventure at Kraft Azalea Gardens and then off to Stardust Coffee with Nicolle and John

When I meet with clients I always try to find out the stories they have to tell. This helps me with ideas for different pictures to make. One of the questions is "where did you get engaged." When Nicolle and John mentioned during a picnic at Kraft Azalea Garden in Winter Park, Florida, I knew that would be a great place to make some awesome photos because I had just recently done an e-session there.

You might think that going back to the same place would be easy, but I always like to challenge myself to make a different shot. I remembered some of the pictures I made with my other couple and did my best to avoid them. The time of day was a little bit different so it did change the light, but it's interesting how many I had forgotten I made which were similar.

These two are so cute!

One of my favorite things about this park is the trees and the light. I love when the light peaks through.

This hairpiece is so awesome!

It totally felt like there was an adventure waiting to happen underneath this bridge.

The other really cool story that Nicolle and John told me was how they met at this amazing little coffee house in Orlando call Stardust Video and Coffee in Orlando, Florida. I thought I had heard of it before, but I had never been there. I suggested it could be a cool place to do their e-sessions, because they have so much history there. Once we got there, I fell in love with it. This is the most eclectic coffeehouse I have ever been in and there were more corners to make photos in than I knew what to do with. I can't wait to find someone getting married there! If you have not been to it, I highly recommend you go.

Their save the date cards were from this photobooth.

This little red car is so awesome!

Not only is it a coffee shop, but it has DVDs. Lot's of DVDS!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Going with another photographer

I ran across a post on WeddingBee today that was from brides telling vendors they are going with someone else. I had to respond, because this is a major pet peeve of mine. I want Pilster Photography to have the best customer service it can and I realize we are not for everyone.

If clients have decided on someone else but haven't told me, I will still be spending the time to market to them. This makes it harder to focus my energies elsewhere. I just want to give a big THANK YOU again!

My Response -

I just want to say THANK YOU!! Thank you very much, as a vendor this so appreciated. I want to apologize for any vendors who continue to push the sale after the fact.

As a wedding photographer I regularly get many couples contacting me every week for more information, people I meet at shows and tastings who have asked for more information, and also those who I have met with one on one. So now I have hundreds of open business. My goal is to make sure every one of them is happy and I want to give them the best customer service possible, because any one of them may be considering my company.

I try to respond quickly and to keep in touch with all of them. You never know where people are in their planning stages when they contact you and we don't want to be forgotten about. I also don't want to flood your inbox, but as long as I think there may be an opportunity, I will send an email or give a phone call.

When you want to tell me that you went with someone else, a phone call is appreciated, but a simple email works fine too. Also I would love to know who you went with. I always want to know who I am being compared to, and if it's a friend of mine, I want to congratulate them. This will also let me close the open account I have on you and focus my energy elsewhere.

You will only get one more thing from me after you tell me this. I know there is always room for improvement, so I send out a questionnaire asking a few things about what you thought about the brief interaction you had with my company. I want to be better, so that I might be the right company for the next person. I even enter you into a drawing for a gift that has no connection to my company as a thank you.

Of these hundreds of people who have contacted me only a few actually tell me they are not going with me, but this interaction is sooooo appreciated. I just want to say one more time, thank you!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

FAQ - Can you recommend a camera to me?

Ask me anything at http://www.formspring.me/PilsterPhoto

I am a amateur photographer moving up to professional photographer.Kindly, use your professional experience to recommend a good DIGITAL CAMERA that i can buy.

Everyone has their own preference for digital cameras. Most professional wedding photographers and photojournalists use the higher end Canon or Nikon's. Depending on what type of professional photography you want to do, I also recommend buying two cameras. If one breaks down while you are on the job, you will not have time to rent another. This also allows you to not have to switch lenses all the time.

There are other cameras that pros use including Mamiya and Leica. I also heard Sony came out with a pro level SLR.

You don't need the newest camera's with all the coolest gizmos. When I had to start fresh I located the oldest model cameras that I felt would do the job. I am now shooting with 2 Canon 1D Mark IIs which were released almost 6 years ago.

Recently I picked up a 20D to be used as a remote camera and third backup. It is relatively inexpensive, but will get the job done.

Besides looking for cameras that were quality for a low price there were a few other factors that went into my cameras. They had to be durable, have a high frames per second (If you know me, you know I like to run the motor drive.), handle low light well, produce decent sized image files (You don't need monstrous sized files to print good images), the ability to switch lenses, and of course reliability.

My biggest recommendation is to go in and experiment with many different cameras then decide what you like the best. Definitely find one that you can easily change everything to a manual setting. Also make sure that it can shoot at at a high ISO like 1600 or 3200 and still produce quality images. This will take some research on your part, but allow you to find a camera that fit's your tastes.

Good luck and send along a link to your portfolio, I'd love to see your work.

Ask me anything

Friday, February 12, 2010

Maternity Photography Session, our first!

So Pilster Photography has officially started it's maternity division. With the documenting of our pregnancy we are showing my wife's changing body every couple months. These stages will only be a glimpse in our memory as our life changes forever. She is so beautiful when she's pregnant and it's exciting to realize that there is a life growing inside her.

Photography has always given me an opportunity to experience something in life that I may not have otherwise, this is why I am so passionate about photojournalism. I love life experiences. There is only so much I can live through the lens of a camera though. I am definitely jealous that there are some things during a pregnancy I will never know about. This only means that I need to take every opportunity I can to be close to my wife over these 40 weeks.

Cheya, our older dog, always loves to get in on our photo shoots.

a little self portrait action.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The next step...

So once you find out your pregnant, what's the logical next step? Well for a photojournalist it's to start documenting it. I started out by capturing some photos of my amazing wife while it was still early on.

In the next few weeks we had some big decisions to make. We decided to use a midwife and were so lucky to find Michelle and Kaleen at the Heart 2 Heart Birthing Cener in Sanford. They've been so friendly and helpful. They spend a ton of time with us on every visit, they answer all of our questions and really make sure we understand everything.

One of the biggest reasons we did decide to go with midwives is that they are an advocate for you and your baby. Even if you do end up at a hospital, these women will be there to explain the information that you need to know and help you make the best decision. This is a time that even Google may not be fast enough to answer a question, so it's great to have a highly knowledgeable person right by your bedside.

A great documentary that we saw that really helped me move from being about 40% sure of going with a midwife to 90% is The Business of being Born. I highly recommend it, although you still should do your own research after watching it.

So after meeting with our midwife, we had our first chance to really find out there was a new life growing in my wife's belly. We had a chance to hear our baby's heartbeat! It was a beautiful and amazing thing!

Since we started going to the Birthing Center, they've moved. The first times we went it was at an antique style and older home. It had a gorgeous feel to it.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A little journey

A few months ago we found out some amazing and exciting news. It's going to be life changing and we can't wait. I've been so busy that I haven't had a chance to really share. I hate to throw it all out there at once, so I'm just going to start you out with the same preview we sent our families....

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Shephard's Beach Resort, Clearwater, Florida, Destination wedding - Part TWO staring Kim and Andrew

And now we continue from PART ONE

After this amazing couple was married they wandered out onto the rocks to makes some awesome photos as the sun set. Unfortunately rainy Florida took a little bit away from actually seeing the sunset.

It may of been easy to get the veil in, but it just did not want to come out. The ironic thing is that, right after we did the final portrait shoot, it practically fell out. I think it just had a mind of it's own.

It was a pretty drive.

Getting the party started while traveling to the party!

I love reflections of the bride and groom.

Here are the awesome socks again.

I love to see what clients do with the photos we make during the e-session

Do these flowers look familiar? They did a great job of using them for dual purposes. They were the flowers that were up the aisle in PART ONE

The cake

The grand entrance! I have to say that the way Shephard's Beach Resort is designed, it makes for a great grand entrance. The steps lead right onto the dance floor.

The dance... Those pictures look kind of familiar

The food!

I'm taking a guess, but I think this was "Loveshack"

Getting close to the end with that last dance.

This wouldn't of been a problem, except it's a European car.

Happily ever after! Congrats again Kim and Andrew, you two are awesome together!

Wedding Professionals, The entire cast!
Catering and Venue - Shephard's Beach Resort
DJ - Tampa Bay Disc Jockey
Cakes - Publix
Transportation - Embassy Limousine
Photography by Pilster Photography and my awesome assistant Ryan Morris
Florist - Rose Riot
Wedding Dress from David's Bridal
Hair and Makeup - The Spa at Salon West in Largo Florida
Ceremony at Christ the King Church in Seminole, Florida by Pastor Peter Lapointe
Hotel for the bridal party Holiday Inn Harbourside at Indian Rocks Beach, Florida

I have to give props to my awesome assistant Ryan. He worked hard helping me and somehow even found time to make some awesome photos throughout the night.

And if you didn't think I really existed, my assistant actually caught me working. Thanks Ryan!

And if you want to see more don't forget about PART ONE or....
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