We Always Have a Good Time

No matter where we are we always have a good time and it's completely evident in our workshops!  We spend hours laughing, being silly and bonding.  As a team we come prepared with so much knowledge to share and to teach those who come to our workshop...but let us tell you, we are the ones that leave with so much more than we gave.  Every individual that has come to our workshop has changed us.  We learn so much from each person that we can't help but look back on our time together and get a little emotional. 

Here is a little...itty bitty...tiny glimpse at our Paris Workshop!  
We have a blast together and can't wait for our next stop..... IRELAND! 

Partyography Retreat Photo Booth

This year we had this super fun idea to make a mini photo booth for our retreat as an ice breaker for the first night! We are SO glad we did! It went off without a hitch! The photos are hilarious and even though it may not be the most professional of photo booths, we still cherish the memories from the first night at our October retreat! 

Partyography Workshops Opening Night

One thing we're super proud of when it comes to our retreats is that NO ONE goes hungry. There is always more than enough food, snacks, and drinks for everyone with a ton of variety to satisfy any and all cravings. The learning portion of our workshop is super intense and when we are shooting, its fast paced and for a few hours at a time so having things that you can take with or much on during class is so important to us. Happy tummies + brain power = happy photographers!  Plus, we secretly believe that good food brings people closer together. 

This is just a small sneak of all the snacks we had at the workshop plus the table set up from the welcome dinner. We serve all three meals each and every day and we con't skimp.  You're getting yummy stuff that is either prepared in house or scattered in. Now our mouths are watering!! YUM! 


Just some girls, and their their zebra! This post had us laughing when we wrote it. You may have seen this little zebra floating around on Facebook page and Instagram lately. He was actually part of the decor in the condo we rented for our Park City Retreat. The first night there, he was taken down from his shelf and instantly became our little mascot and was given the noble name of Baxter. For the rest of the week, we took him everywhere with us, included him in our late night dance parties, and may have even made a short film about him. Baxter has now become our forever Partyography Workshops mascot.  You'll be seeing lots of him around! 

P.S. Have you reserved your seat for our Paris 2016 Partyography Workshop? For more info, check  out this link!  It's going to be amazing! www.partyographyworkshops.com/paris2016/

Tuesday Tip : "Your Camera Is So Good"

A few weeks ago I was shooting a client when I showed her an image off the back of my camera.  Which I will say I NEVER do.  Not because I like to keep things secret, I have just learned over the years not to do it. (Ask me about that later.)  Anyway I broke my own silly rule and gave her a peek.  She let out a squeal of excitement for what she was seeing then she said it, ”Your camera is so good!”  I’ve heard it before “oh my, you have such a nice camera.” “what camera is that? It takes great pictures.”  ”your pictures are beautiful, what camera do you have?”  Yes, I do have a nice camera.  I spent a lot of money on not just one “nice camera” but two….and a slew of ‘nice’ lenses and lighting and every other gadget.  But do you want to know what else I have spent a lot of money on?  Education.  I have spent thousands of dollars on workshops, education, learning materials and I have spent countless of hours engrossing myself in photography and learning everything I can possibly learn.    My camera is nearly the vessel to take a picture, yes it is nice…and I do believe that good equipment is important…but if the operator of the camera doesn’t have the knowledge and skills to create a beautiful photograph the camera can’t do it.

Now I’m not mad that my client said that…no not at all.  As a matter of fact I found it a little humorous and it got me thinking.  I know she didn’t  mean it in a way that was offensive and I wasn’t offended at all.  But I think it’s a huge misconception that if you have a ‘nice’ camera then you can make a good picture.

This would be like telling a talented dancer “wow those dance shoes are amazing.” Or saying to a hair stylist “oh my goodness, those scissors are so good.” What about telling a baker “wow, this cake is so good! Your oven is amazing.” Or even a painter “what a beautiful painting, you must have good brushes.”   Noway Jose!  Granted……the dancer will spend money on quality shoes, the hair stylist will have the best shears, the baker will have a top quality oven and the painter will have the best brushes…but that doesn’t make them good.  What makes them good is the time they have spent into learning, growing and really perfecting their craft.

So it got me thinking…I wanted to give you a visual as to what I mean.

So this evening I decided to put a cute little dress on my Ava and I handed my  little sister my camera.  I set it on auto for her and I told her to stand in one area in my front yard.  I then asked her to take a few picture of my Ava.  She then said “will you pose her for me?”  And I said ‘nope, you do it.”  So she had her stand in a spot under the tree and said “Smile, Ava.”  A few clicks later this was the image that she took.

Yes, she is cute…and her outfit is cute.  And well she is pretty center in the image…and she is kinda in focus…but when you zoom in close, she’s not tack sharp.  Not to mention that the composition is off.  Her feet are cropped and there is a ton of head room.  Let’s not forget that there is no compression to the background or cropping out my house or yard toys. This image was taken with my professional camera and  my professional lens.

Then it was my turn.  I kept Ava in the same spot.  Knowing that the background was unfavorable, I knew I had to approach the image from a different angle than having her just stand there.  So I sat her down in a pose that I could work around the background with, I put my camera back on manual mode and I changed my aperture, time value, ISO and white balance to reflect what I wanted from the image.    With a clear vision in mind (from the countless hours of learning) I was able to get this image…in the exact same location, lighting and with the same camera as the above image.

So what does this say to all of us?  It says that just because one has a nice camera does not make them a professional.  It also shows that a professional can take nearly any location and lighting and turn it into a spectacular photograph.  Even if it’s your own front yard.

To all your photographers out there and those who want to be photographers I want to encourage you to really learn everything you can.  I still learn something new EVERY SINGLE DAY that has to do with photography or business.  You can do it too…and the more you learn the more you will be prepared to meet ‘front yard’ situations with the confidence that you can create something beautiful…because YOU are a amazing photographer, your camera just helps you out!

*Camera used: Canon 5D Mark III

Lens Used Canon 70-200L II IS 2.8

Partyography Workshops Photographer Feature : Stephanie Marie Photography

Next up in our photographer feature series is Stephanie Marie Photography. Stephanie came to our Paris work shop this last May and we seriously ADORE her! Not just because of her photography but because she is hilarious and just an all around good time!  Stephanie is determined and has so much drive and she is killing it in Iowa! We love you Stephanie!! 

These images were shot at the Louvre as well as the Eiffel Tower

Partyography Workshops Photographer Feature : Sweet Paislee Pictures

Over the course of the next few months, we'll be sharing images from our workshop attendees. The images we'll be sharing are from our past workshops they've attended. We are kicking this segment of our blog off with Jena of Sweet Paislee Pictures. Jena came to our October 2015 Retreat held in Park City, UT. We admire Jena for her attention to detail and unique editing style. So happy and full of life. Love you girl!

Partyography Retreat 2015

The retreat has come and gone and dang, it was such an amazing week with these fabulous ladies! Stay tuned for all sorts of amazingness. We miss these beautiful souls so much already.  Not only did we help to change their businesses and make them better photographers, but they changed us. They changed our hearts. Love you girls!