Picking The Right Wedding Photographer

Hey guys, and welcome back! This had been a great week sharing my quick tips with you, and today I want to go into more detail. Choosing the right photographer for your wedding is so involved and so crucial. This is not something you want to take lightly. Without further adieu, let’s talk weddings!

Money:

One of the most important topics to consider is your budget. Ultimately, photography is one of the most important expenses, if not the most important expense, of your wedding day. Long after the blur of your wedding day, the best way to look back on your day and remember it is by revisiting your wedding photographs. When considering your budget, you want to make sure you budget enough money to hire a great photographer. You also want to make sure the photographer is open, honest, and upfront about all of your investment options, as well as payment policies. Does he require the entire balance to be paid in full before your wedding? What is his policy on refund or no refunds, and why? What is included with the investment options you are considering? Make sure you are crystal clear on everything you are investing in, and make sure that everything you have discussed is in writing. Check, double check, and triple check. If the photographer seems hesitant to talk about any of these details, then it’s time to move on!

What You See:

Another important aspect to consider that I think is quite frequently glossed over is the continuity of the work. When looking through all of the photographer’s images, do they look and feel similar? Do they look like they were photographed by the same person? There should be very few variances in the quality of work the photographer is producing. Images should be clean and composed similarly. Likewise, you should be able to see a breadth of work. Upon request, you should be able to see at least one full wedding covered by your photographer. This will be a great indication of the photographer’s talent, and his ability to capture the fleeting moments everyone loves. If the photographer has very few images on his site, images that do not look consistent, and cannot produce at least one fully covered wedding when you meet with him, then it’s time to move on!

Style:

This is a great topic that brides seem to overlook. It’s all about the style! How does your photographer shoot? How does he cover weddings? What kind of coverage are you looking for? A lot of photographers are very fly-on-the-wall. They capture moments throughout your day as they unfold, instead of posing everything. Some posing comes during the session after your ceremony, but everything else is photographed as it happens. Some photographers like to pose everything, and are very noticeable throughout your day. This is your decision: Do you want everything posed, or do you want only some things posed? Do you want a photographer who will be very visible, or do you want a photographer who blends into the background? If your photographer can’t answer this question, then it’s time to move on!

Education:

This is one of my favorite things to talk about! Is your photographer willing and able to educate you about your wedding day? The wealth of knowledge that a photographer can provide based on years of experience is priceless. Does your photographer talk about details? Pricing? Ways to save money? Most importantly, does your photographer best practices and plans for your wedding day that will allow him to take the high quality of images you expect? Often times, brides are not aware of issues photographers face. Location, lighting, time of day of your ceremony, hot-spots, etc.. Your photographer should be able to fill in all of these blanks, and should be able to thoroughly explain everything to you. (Assuming they have the experience to do so, of course.) If your photographer is unable or unwilling to freely educate you about your day, then it’s time to move on!

Chemistry:

One more topic that so many brides forget to consider is chemistry! Do you actually get along with the photographer you’re choosing? Remember, this photographer will be providing you with an engagement session, will be with you on your wedding day ALL DAY, and in some cases, will be your photographer for life. You must make sure that you get along very well with him, and it is imperative to ask yourself, “Could I hang out with this guy all day? Is he fun? Does he make me feel comfortable and at ease?” Trust your gut. If you can’t say “Yes” to these questions, then it’s time to move on!

Closing Thoughts:

As you can see, choosing the best fit for your wedding photographer is no easy task. You must take it seriously, and hire the best photographer for the job. The images have to be great, and you have to get along with him! Your photographer can provide you with the best experience for your wedding day, or with the worst experience on your wedding day. We all want the best experience, so choose wisely. Thanks so much for checking in and reading my space on this great thing we call the internet! If you have any questions at all, please feel free to ask! Thanks so much again, and happy hunting!

I Am A Princess

Hello hello hello! I’m so happy you decided to check out my blog today!

I’m so excited to share this post about another graduate from my Watch Me Grow program! This little girl is such a doll, and was a blast to photograph.

She is the third child and literally the baby of the family. She has two older brothers to help her when she grows up, so I’m sure she’ll be just fine.

I first met this family when a friend and past client referred them to me, and I had the honor of photographing this baby just days after she was born.

Avery is a sweet little girl with a lot of spunk! When I fist held her as a newborn, she smiled, and I was in love! Every session I’ve had with her has been memorable. Her mom is very fashionable, and always had great little outfits for her to wear. So without further adieu, here she is! Enjoy!

Avery1Year (1 of 224)

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AveryNewborn (20 of 63)

AveryNewborn (55 of 63)

Finally, this is the video compilation of images and videos from her sessions! Enjoy!

Thank you for reading, and I look forward to making epic images for you!

Yours in Photography,
Thomas

Shoot me an email to receive a free photo app for your phone, and to schedule an unforgettable session at change@epicmomentsphotography.com
Follow me and share me on Instagram and Twitter @PhotoMan831
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The Walking Dead

What I’ve Learned from The Walking Dead

Hello and good morning to all! I hope you guys all had a fantastic weekend, and that this post finds you well! If you are a fan of The Walking Dead, hopefully you were able to watch some of the epic marathon this weekend, and catch The Talking Dead last night!

If you have any fireworks images or videos, please feel free to share them with me on my Instagram and Twitter @PhotoMan831. AAAAAANNNNNNNDDDDDDD in case you didn’t catch this video, I shared it on my Facebook page this weekend. This crazy guy flew his drone with a GoPro right into fireworks as they were going off, and got some awesome footage! Check it out here: http://gearjunkie.com/drone-through-fireworks

So enough of that. Today, I want to talk about The Walking Dead. In particular, what I’ve learned from The Walking Dead. This show has become one of my favorite shows to watch. I just can’t get enough of it! And I hate that we have to wait until October for it to start again! Such torture.

While watching bits and pieces of the show this weekend, I was thrust into an introspective mood, and came away with some lessons.

Lesson #1: Be in the moment.

Throughout some of the flashbacks, we see the characters come to points in their lives where they just wanted to enjoy the moments they had. In one flashback, Rick and his son are learned how to garden in the prison from Hershel. Hershel said, “It can be like this for a while Rick.” Rick replied with, “It’s like this right now. That’s good enough.”

He learned how to enjoy the moment and how to be a part of what’s going on now. I feel like so many times in life, at least in mine, we get so distracted with what’s coming next. What are we going to do tomorrow? Thinking about bills we have to pay, chores we have to do, errands we have to run, that one person who said that one thing, etc. etc.. We forget how important it is to just relax. Just be in the moment. When you’re with your family, be with your family. Not on your phone, or computer, or tablet, or whatever else distracts you. When you’re with your friends, be with your friends. Enjoy the moment, and ignore the distractions. That can all wait.

Lesson #2: You can’t do it alone.

Throughout the show, we see our characters struggling. Struggling to survive, and struggling to adapt to a new world. We see Carl trying to gain independence from his father and trying to prove himself, and we see Daryl at one point leaving the group with his brother, only to return later. We see the group get split up and struggle with what to do. We even see Maggie trying to go off by herself, only to wait for Bob and Sasha to catch up to her. The one common theme is that they can’t survive alone. The more people they have, the easier it is to survive. These characters are learning how to live and survive together, and they have all learned that in order to survive, they need each other. One character even commented that before the Apocalypse, you couldn’t survive by yourself.

So whatever you’re doing or going through, I’ve learned that we need each other. We need our family and friends to not only survive, but also to thrive.

Lesson #3: Keep hope alive.

Throughout the show, we see the characters learning to hang on to one thing: hope. That hope morphs and changes, and what they hope in changes somewhat, but they hold on. They hope for a cure, they hope to survive together, they hope to survive in a community, they hope to build a community, and they have a basic hope in humanity. No matter how many deaths or how many negative things happen, they hold on to hope and just keep going.

Whatever you’re going through, just keep hope alive. Hold on to the hope that things will get better and work out in your favor.

Just keep going. Never give up, and always always always do the right thing. NEVER EVER give up. Be blessed and keep on keepin’ on.

Thank you for reading, and I look forward to making epic images for you!

Yours in Photography,
Thomas

Shoot me an email to receive a free photo app for your phone, and to schedule an unforgettable session at change@epicmomentsphotography.com
Follow me and share me on Instagram and Twitter @PhotoMan831
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Check out my website @ http://www.epicmomentsphotography.com

Why? Just….why?

Hey all, and good afternoon to you! I hope this post finds you well and well off!

Today’s topic is born of life. Of frustration. The question I’m asking myself over and over again. Why? Just…why?

Well…just because. Because I want to. Because this is my purpose.

You see, sometimes life is just difficult. I am constantly re-evaluating my lot in life. Always wanting to know why I do what I do. Why I keep going, even though everyone is saying not to. It seems like I keep taking one step forward, and two steps back. I make some kind of progress, find something to get excited about, and then BAM! Something disappointing, something discouraging, something frustrating happens. Sometimes the things I hope for fall away into nothing. Prospects disintegrate, and things just don’t work out. I get my hopes up, and then it just doesn’t work out.

Then I have to ask myself again and again and again and again and again. Why? Just…why? Why “This Sorrowful Life”?

The best part is when you have family and friends talk to you about what you’re doing, and telling you that it won’t work out. Telling you that it’s impossible and just too hard.

But the one thing that stays consistent is my desire for success. I read and pray to encourage myself, and then I find something else to do. Thomas Eddison once said, “I haven’t failed. I’ve found 10,000 ways it won’t work.”

There’s always something to do. There’s always something new to try. There’s always new doors to knock on. Every day is another day to try something new. Every day is another day to keep plugging away at the projects I have. Every day is another day of hope. As long as I have breath in my lungs, I’m gonna keep on keepin’ on. The great men and women of history and business that I’ve read about and studied all had struggles. They all had major failures before they had major victories. They all had seasons, sometimes years long, of constant and unending failure and disappointment. When they didn’t give up, though, they got slapped in the face again and again. Eventually, despite everything against them, they made it. They tasted success, grabbed a hold of it, and never let go of it!

I know that if others can do it, then so can I. If you’re struggling, then be encouraged. As long as there is still breath in your lungs, there is still hope. I don’t have all the answers. I don’t even have all the answers for myself. But I know the answers are out there. I know there’s hope. I know there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, and I know I’m going to make it. I just have to keep pushing. Like Steve Jobs said:

Here’s to the crazy ones — the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things. They push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.

Be

Thank you for reading, and I look forward to making epic images for you!

Yours in Photography,
Thomas

Shoot me an email to receive a free photo app for your phone, and to schedule an unforgettable session at change@epicmomentsphotography.com
Follow me and share me on Instagram and Twitter @PhotoMan831
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Check out my website @ http://www.epicmomentsphotography.com

The Very First One

Hello everyone, and good day to you! Thanks for checking in again. I think you’re really going to enjoy this post today!

Over a year ago I started my “Watch Me Grow” program. In this program, I photograph the baby’s first year of life in 4 different sessions. I have grown to love doing this because I love being able to watch each baby grow, change, and hit milestones.

When I started this program, I was literally terrified of babies! They are so small, and you have to handle them so carefully. It is also a completely different skill set than photographing anything else. I did not think that I had the skill or eye for photographing them.

I started because my cousin called me one day out of nowhere and asked if I would photograph her son in his christening outfit. I told her that I had no experience in photographing babies, so if she wanted me to do it, she would just have to know that. She was more confident in my abilities than I was at the time, and told me she really wanted me to do it. I was nervous and terrified, but I did it anyway. Little baby Jackson was a blast to photograph, and the images came out better than I had ever expected. Shortly after that adventure, I decided to move forward with photographing babies, and my program was born! Here are some images from that very first session.

BabyJackson (2 of 22)

BabyJackson (4 of 22)

BabyJackson (8 of 22)

BabyJackson (16 of 22)

Going forward, I photographed her son four more times in 3 month increments. I had a ton of fun photographing him, and a ton of fun learning a new skillset and expanding my own abilities. Heck, I even learned to not be afraid of little babies! I love babies, and I love photographing them now! It’s such a precious time to capture, and I’m honored to be invited into the lives of these families to document such fleeting memories. It’s such an honor to have photographed Jackson, and an even greater honor that he was the first official graduate of my program!

Here are a few images from each of his sessions, and a compilation slideshow. Enjoy the cuteness!

Jackson3Months (4 of 42)

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Jackson1Year (142 of 183)

Thank you for reading, and I look forward to making epic images for you!

Yours in Photography,
Thomas

Shoot me an email to receive a free photo app for your phone, and to schedule an unforgettable session at change@epicmomentsphotography.com
Follow me and share me on Instagram and Twitter @PhotoMan831
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Well That Was Interesting

Hey party people! Thanks for checking in! Today, I just want to leave a quick note.

Many of you have noticed that I have not been blogging for almost 3 weeks. Sad face. 😥

I want to explain that the last three weeks have been rather……interesting. I had extra jobs, and a family emergency. My step father had 3 heart attacks, one being massive, and I’ve been helping to take care of him. Thank God I was around when the first one happened, or else he would not be here right now. It was scary, to say the least, and I have been helping with taking him to his doctor’s appointments and the like.

Things are calming down a bit, and I am still helping with taking him to the places he needs to go. I plan on being back in full swing with blogging next week though. I hope you guys enjoy the rest of your week and weekend. ‘Till next week friends!

Thank you for reading, and I look forward to making epic images for you!

Yours in Photography,
Thomas

Shoot me an email to receive a free photo app for your phone, and to schedule an unforgettable session at change@epicmomentsphotography.com
Follow me and share me on Instagram and Twitter @PhotoMan831
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Check out my website @ http://www.epicmomentsphotography.com

Derek Part Deux

Derek Part Deux
Exploring His Passions

Hello, and good day to everyone! I hope you enjoyed reading about the very first student that was featured! Today, I’m doing to share links to things Derek is passionate about, just in case you’re interested in them. So here we go, and happy reading!

Derek’s favorite bands are Switchfoot, Bethel Music, and For Today. His one favorite, inspiring artist is Cobus, a drummer from South Africa. They are all very different bands, but all excellent!

Cobus is very talented and very prolific, and enjoys teaching other how to better play drums. To see his work, you can visit his website, which will also take you to his Youtube page, and you can see for yourself what he’s all about!

http://www.cobuspotgieter.com/

Switchfoot is a rock band that plays powerful lyrics with Christian themes. If you want to check them out, here are links to their Facebook page and website.

http://www.switchfoot.com
http://www.facebook.com/switchfoot

Bethel Music is a worship band that has been gaining in popularity. They are passionate about serving God, and have some very powerful songs. If you enjoy worship music, then check out their website and Facebook page.

http://www.facebook.com/ibethelmusic
http://www.bethelmusic.com

For Today is a heavy metal/hardcore Christian band. If you like screaming and heavy music, you will love For Today. If you want to check them out, go to their website and Facebook page.

http://www.facebook.com/ForToday
http://www.fortodayband.com

Stay tuned for next weeks feature!

Thank you for reading, and I look forward to making epic images for you!
Yours in Photography,
Thomas
Shoot me an email to receive a free photo app for your phone, and to schedule an unforgettable session at change@epicmomentsphotography.com
Follow me and share me on Instagram and Twitter @PhotoMan831
Like and share my page on Facebook @ http://www.facebook.com/thebestepic
Check out my website @ http://www.epicmomentsphotography.com

Drum Roll Please…

Drum Roll Please…
Introducing Derek

Hello hello hello, and top o’ the day to you! I am so excited to be sharing the very first student with you this morning! I have known this young man and his family for years and years, and it is a privilege to be able to introduce him to everyone else! He is better than he knows, and worth more than he believes. So without further adieu, I present to you Derek!

Derek is a sophomore in high school, and really loves two things: drums, and Ultimate Frisbee. He plays drums as often as he can for our church, and as often as he can just for fun with his friends. He is part of a group of friends who also play Ultimate Frisbee as often as they can, where ever they are.

Here’s a look into the interview.

FourthAct (80 of 80)

Me: What are your passions?
Derek: Drums and Ultimate Frisbee

Me: How did you first get into playing the drums?
Derek: My dad is a drummer, and when I was a kid, I would sit on his lap while he played, and he would teach me. I started playing and learning seriously when I was 11.

Me: How much do you practice?

Derek: On average, I practice 1 hour every day.

 

 

FourthAct (4 of 80)

 

Me: What other drummers inspire you, and why?
Derek: I have a friend in college named Dan who is really good and has helped me a lot when I started drumming. My dad also inspires me because he is talented, and he encourages me, and lets me practice all the time! One drummer from South Africa named Cobus inspires me because he is so talented.

Me: What bands inspire you and why?
Derek: I love Switchfoot, Bethel Music, and For Today. They represent all my favorite styles of music, and they are my favorite bands. Switchfoot is rock, Bethel Music is worship, and For Today is a Christian Metal band.

Me: When and where do you play drums?
Derek: I play on Friday nights and Sunday mornings for the youth worship team for our church, and I have jam sessions with my friends when I can.

Me: What kinds of music do you enjoy playing the most?
Derek: Worship and heavy metal.

 

FourthAct (23 of 80)FourthAct (57 of 80)

Me: What do you hope to accomplish with your musical talent in the future?

Derek: I hope to play on the main stage at Creation Fest one year, and I would like to be a drummer for my church. I would also like to teach and help others to play drums.

Thank you for checking out this interview. Stay tuned for Thursday’s post when I’m going to talk about some of these bands he enjoys, and link up to their work.

Thank you for reading, and I look forward to making epic images for you!

Yours in Photography,

Thomas

Shoot me an email to receive a free photo app for your phone, and to schedule an unforgettable session at change@epicmomentsphotography.com
Follow me and share me on Instagram and Twitter @PhotoMan831
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Check out my website @ http://www.epicmomentsphotography.com

Are You Compassionate?

Showing Compassion

Good morning everyone! I hope this post again finds you well! This is my second post about my passions, and this is something I hope to do for each of the kids I feature as well.

I wrote about my passion for people and for photography, and I wrote a little bit about the sponsorship program I use. Today, I want to talk a little bit about them for anyone who is interested.

The organization is called Compassion International. It is a Christian organization with the goal of sponsoring children in impoverished and dangerous areas, and with a heart to tell them about Jesus, and to get them hooked into a local church.

While you sponsor a child through them, the children are required to write you at least 3 times every year, and of course hope for you to write them as well! The donation fee is currently $38 per month, and 80% of that goes directly to the child and his family.

If you are able to, Compassion gives you the ability to donate to college funds for these kids, as well as other projects in poor areas they oversee. I have been sponsoring children with them for over 7 years, and they have been nothing but honest and open. They have a lot of integrity, and I am proud to partner with them.

If you want more information, please follow these links to get started, or give them a call.

http://www.compassion.com
http://blog.compassion.com/
1-800-336-7676

Stay tuned and come back next week, when I feature the very first student!! Exciting things are coming, and I hope you can be a part of them!

Thank you for reading, and I look forward to making epic images for you!

Yours in Photography,

Thomas

Shoot me an email to receive a free photo app for your phone, and to schedule an unforgettable session at change@epicmomentsphotography.com
Follow me and share me on Instagram and Twitter @PhotoMan831
Like and share my page on Facebook @ http://www.facebook.com/thebestepic
Check out my website @ http://www.epicmomentsphotography.com

My Passion

My Passion
Doing What Makes Me Tick

Hello and good day to you all! I’m so excited to be moving forward with this project, and I hope everyone enjoys meeting and reading about all of these great kids. To kick it off, I want to write about some of my passions.

I am passionate about people, and photography. As I’ve been growing and learning, it’s been awesome to see how, at least in my life, all of these passions fit together perfectly, like a jigsaw puzzle.

My love of photography started in much the same way as it did for lots of other photographers. I have always loved photographs. The idea of looking at photographs and remembering those people and events was always appealing to me. I did not start photographing that much, however, until 2005. This was a couple years after digital cameras came out, and I discovered the awesome world of over shooting! I photographed everything I could, and after years of learning and studying, I started my own business.

Besides photography, I am passionate about people. In pursuit of this passion, I was drawn to education, and have taught in public schools, as well as in the church. I have also taken numerous mission’s trips in the United States and to other countries, and have had the opportunity to teach and to help people in big and small ways.

This passion has also led me to sponsor children in need through Compassion International, a Christian sponsorship organization. I currently sponsor 4 children; 3 in Honduras, and one in Haiti. This is such a rewarding experience, and I am very grateful to be able to do it.

I started sponsoring in 2007, when I went to Honduras for the first time with my church. We were there for almost 2 weeks. Before we went, and on the plane ride, I was asking God to give me someone to reach out to that I could have a long term impact on. The thing I hate about mission’s trips is that you see these people for such a brief amount of time, and then never again. Usually.

When we got to Honduras, I felt like God was leading me to reach out to this particular boy, who was 9, one month from turning 10. I could barely talk to him because my Spanish was just about non-existent at that time, but I gave it a shot anyway. Long story short, after 3 days, this boy gave me a hug, pointed to me, and in English said, “My father.” I was blown away, and at the recommendation of the missionaries, I started sponsoring him through Compassion International.

To date, I have been back to visit him 2 more times, and the link at the end of this post is a video about the times I was able to spend with him in Honduras. It’s been incredible to see him grow and mature, and to see what he is doing with his life. It is one of the most meaningful things I have ever done with my life, and I’m so thankful to be able to do it.

In the future, I hope to be able to sponsor more children, and I hope to use my photography to make a difference in peoples’ lives. I want to grow my business enough to use to reach as many people as possible, and I want to get involved in projects that change people through photography. I have big dreams and hopes, and I am going to chase my passions and make things happen for myself, as well as for other people.

What are you passionate about, and what are you doing with it? I truly believe that if your passion leads you to help other people in some way, there’s no way you can fail. Go do it, and do it with everything you’ve got!

This is the link to the video montage of my first child and me. I hope you enjoy it!

Thank you for reading, and I look forward to making epic images for you!

Yours in Photography,

Thomas

Shoot me an email to receive a free photo app for your phone, and to schedule an unforgettable session at change@epicmomentsphotography.com
Follow me and share me on Instagram and Twitter @PhotoMan831
Like and share my page on Facebook @ http://www.facebook.com/thebestepic
Check out my website @ http://www.epicmomentsphotography.com