Morgan; a little girl full of strength

Morgan is 8. She is a dark haired, beautiful little girl here in Florida. She has a loving family, including a 5 year old brother. She also has inoperable, in-curable, terminal brain cancer. Morgan was diagnosed with DIPG, which, as her mom describes it, is brain cancer that is more like string cheese then a solid tumor.

We met Morgan when we were contacted by Quiet Strength, a non-profit based out of California. Quiet Strength partners with photographers to give families who are dealing with childhood cancers a chance to have their photos taken. Photographers donate their time and skills to spend time with these families and work to give them amazing portraits of their children, who may not be with them much longer.

Morgan

Our day with Morgan was amazing. Her favorite color is purple, so her mom picked out a dress with lots of purple in it and we found some beautiful purple flowers for her hair and some for her portraits. Her mom wanted her hair to look nice, so we found a student at a local beauty college who was willing to donate her time and skills to Morgan and her family.

Despite what she is going through, she smiled, seemed happy and did her very best to help us get her portraits. She never complained and even when you could see that she was getting tired, she continued to smile.

If you would like to learn more about Morgan by following her story or if you can help her and her family, please find her on her Facebook page Morgans Journey (link is below). Her, and kids like her, so desperately need a miracle.

Morgans Facebook Page

 

Questions to ask when looking for a photographer

Whether you are getting married, having a baby, graduating high school or updating your family portrait, choosing the right photographer can be a daunting task. There are so many photographers and faux-tographers out there, its hard to know who to pick.

Many people don’t really know what questions to ask, so they go right to “how much is an 8×10”. That’s an important question, but by no means is it the only question and you certainly shouldn’t base your choice on that.

Before you email or call anyone, decide what your budget it. That will help you when they start talking about services. Here are some questions we feel are important to find out before you say yay or nay (These are numbered but are in no particular specific order):

  1. Do you belong to any professional photography organizations? (PPA is a well known one. There are also local state orgs)
  2. What kind of photography education/training do you have?
  3. How long have you been a professional photographer?
  4. What do your session/package/collection fees start at?
  5. Do you have a website?
  6. Do you have references from past clients?
  7. How long do your sessions last?
  8. What do you specialize in?
  9. What is your turn around time for viewing/ordering?
  10. How long will it take to get my prints/albums/canvases?
  11. How many weddings have you photographed?
  12. Is your business licensed in the state of ___________?
  13. Do you have business insurance?
  14. Approximately how many images will I see from the session?
  15. How long do I have to order prints after my session/wedding/event?
  16. What is included in the session/package/collection?
  17. Do you charge for travel?
  18. Are the images on your website of paying clients or models?
  19. Do you charge extra for weekday v.s weekend?
  20. Will I need to sign a contract? (this sounds very legal, but is very important to protect you and the photographer)

That is not an all-inclusive list, but should give you a head start on doing your research. Beware of photographers who won’t answer questions or who try to divert you away from your questions. Also, be willing to talk about what you are looking for and be open to ideas and suggestions. Hope this helps!

To contact us with any questions, feel free to call or use the form below:

 

 

Senior Portraits….yup, its about that time

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If you are getting ready to graduate in a few months, you have probably taken your Senior photos. However, if you have completely procrastinated, and haven’t, we encourage you to hurry up and schedule an appointment. We can still get you in and photographed before graduation.

Senior Portraits

If you are in the Class of 2019 (or a parent of someone in this class)……you definitely need to go ahead and start thinking about scheduling your session. I know your still a Junior, but it will be summer before you know it and you will be a Senior. There is a lot happening your Senior year, and portraits are a huge part of that. Parents and grandparents love to have portraits as their kids/grand-kids grow up and this will probably be your last session before you are “all grown up and an adult” and thrown out into the “real world”.

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Whether you live in Florida or you will be coming here for vacation this summer, we would love to photograph you.

So contact us ASAP to schedule your Senior session for this Spring/Summer/Fall. Its never to early to lock in your session. Contact us through the form below to set up your free consultation so we can talk about what you want!

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Want some free photography?

Good news…..if you are in the class of 2018 or 2019 or are planning a Quinceañera within the next year, you can win free photography from us! Just go to Rosy’s Bridal Boutique at 2161 W. Busch Blvd., Tampa, and enter to win one of our drawings.

Rosy’s has beautiful dresses for proms, Quinceañeras and all of your events. Go check it out and tell Rosy we said hi!

You will see the boxes, they are clearly marked and will be there until the middle of March! Just enter your information and wait for the drawing. We will be contacting winners by email, so please make sure that your email is written clearly and correctly.

Also, you can always keep up with what we are doing by going to our Facebook or Instagram pages or by email us and asking.

If you have questions, would like more information or want to schedule a session, please contact us through the form below. Thanks!

 

Answers to some of your FAQ’s

We thought it would be a good idea to address some of the FAQ’s that we get regularly in an effort to make your photography experience as simple and easy to understand as possible. Here goes:

Q: How long have you 2 been together?

A: LOL. We aren’t together and have never been. We are best friends, roommates and business partners, but that’s the extent of it. Don’t worry, you’re not the only one to make that mistake.

Q: What are your prices?

A: Well, that depends. What kind of photography are you looking for? We do portraits, weddings, quinceanera’s, events and photo booths, so you will have to be a bit more specific. I can tell you for sure though that we would be happy to sit down with you and discuss everything in detail.

Q: Do you offer wedding or quinceanera packages?

A: We offer wedding collections, which are similar to packages but sound way fancier. They include different increments of time, different albums and other things. They ALL include 2 photographers, basic retouching and an online gallery of web-sized images.

Q: Can I get my images on a DVD, CD or flash drive?

A: We provide you with something WAY better then those…prints and albums! We can make you prints in any size  you would like and you will be happy to have them, rather then a DVD that gets scratched on the way home, then lost for 10 years in a kitchen junk drawer. We are print artists and we want you to have something you can treasure forever.  Also, we do have an online gallery available A La Carte if you really want images to share on social media.

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Q: How do I get on the list to receive an awesome Christmas card each year?

A: IKR? They are awesome and take months of planning to create. To get one, simply become a client, friend, family or collaborator.

Q: Do you give print or copy-rights to images?

A: We do not. This will probably be the only question you could ask that will be met with a straight up no. There is no sneak around this one, it is what it is.

I know that’s just a few basic questions, but we are more then happy to answer any others you can come up with. Just shoot us a message through the form below or send us an email, text message, phone call, IG message, SOS, or some smoke signals.

 

Retouching: Before & After

We have all seen beautiful photos of men and women with amazing bodies in magazines, advertisements and photos. They are meant to sell things, to make us want what they have and very often, especially for females, they make us self conscious about how we look. There is a fairly new “movement” going on encouraging you to accept yourself as you are, but I know 1st hand how hard that can be.

We at DLPS totally support people in accepting their beautiful selves and we encourage you to be comfortable in their own skin. But, as photographers, we can definitely “enhance” your natural beauty, without changing what you look like. Our motto for retouching is that we don’t touch it if its permanent. (The only exception to this rule is if you specifically ask us to) If it is temporary, for example, eye bags, pimples, a bruise, a scratch, etc, then we typically reduce or remove it.

People always ask us if we can “photoshop it”. The bottom line is, yes, yes we can. However, its going to cost you. We do basic retouching on all of our photos, but if you want to look 50 lbs lighter, or you want us to take people out of the photos or add someone in, that’s a lot of work and will cost you more money. We do our very best to get things in the original photo the way they should be, but we can always make them a little better. Check out the samples below and see what you think!

As you can see from the above photos, Courtney still looks like herself, but her beauty has been brought out just a bit.

Again, Victoria looks amazing before, but we just brought out her natural beauty and make it more of the focus of the photo.

For these wedding photos, you can see that we took out some distracting poles in the background as well as changed the portrait to black and white.

Our goal with retouching is to make sure you look amazing and still look like you. If you have questions about retouching or want to schedule a consultation, please contact us through the form below.

That’s (almost) a wrap…..

Well, Sunday will be the end of 2017 and Monday will see the world waking up to a brand new year, with new goals, plans and resolutions. 2017 has been a big year for DLPS, and we thought we would share a few of our exploits with you.

We started the year off right, by attending Imaging USA in San Antonio, TX. We attended lectures, went to parties and barely slept! Then we drove straight to Southern LA to attend a 5 day, intensive CPP prep class. By the end of those 2 events, we were both fried and needed a vacation.

In March, we took the Certified Professional Photographer exam and both passed. This is the 1st step to becoming certified. We also took a trip to FL to find a place to live and check out Tampa & the surrounding area. We stayed with some friends whom Jess hadn’t seen in close to 20 years. Luckily, Vermonters are friendly and always willing to welcome old friends.

In April, we moved to Tampa, FL from Monroe LA. We decided to come to Tampa for a change of scenery, city size and new opportunities. In doing so, we left behind a lot of fantastic people who were really supportive of our plan to build a photography business.

In June, Jess earned her Certified Professional Photographer certification through PPA and can now write CPP after her name. To earn this distinction, a photographer must demonstrate that they are knowledgeable and skilled in various aspects of photography, and must pass a written test, then submit 15 images through a panel of 5 professional photographers.

In July we went back to LA to attend the annual convention for LA Professional Photographers in New Orleans. We spent 4 days expanding our education, in addition to hanging out with some of our favorite LA photographers. We brought 2 of our LA models back to FL for 3 days of photography in the sun!

August was a hot, humid month, but we did get to go to Universal Studios with some family visiting from Hawaii. Jess learned that she is going to be an Aunt and we got to hang out in the land of Harry Potter! Plus we watched the eclipse through homemade pinhole cameras.

In Sept, we once again made the trek to LA, this time to Monroe & Shreveport for the annual Barksdale AF Ball. We also did senior portraits for Cam, a soon-to-be graduate in Bastrop, LA. We were able to visit some of our favorite restaurants and hang out with some of our favorite people. We also attended LightPro in St. Petersburg, which is one of our all time favorite conferences. Plus we survived Irma, our first Hurricane!!

November saw us heading North to Vermont, where we spent Thanksgiving with the Wakefield family. Of course we got out and took pictures, got some much needed rest and hung out in the snow. Tony also learned the basics of being a blacksmith.

In December, we donated 2 photo booths. One was for photos with Santa at Inspired Living in Tampa with many of their residents. The other was at the Christmas Charity Ball in Tampa, to raise money towards sponsoring families for Christmas. This was a great success and the charity was able to sponsor 60 families in the Tampa area.

Those are some of the highlights of 2017. We are still learning about everything Tampa has to offer and of course still working on getting to know people here. There are many places to see and things to do that we have yet to experience, but its all part of the fun. We will continue to build and grow our business here and are looking forward to a successful and fun 2018. We wish everyone a Happy New Year and will see you all in 2018!

Danville, Vermont USA

For the Thanksgiving holiday, we decided to get out of dodge and head north, to visit my (Jess’) family in Danville, VT. If you think you have never been to Danville, its possible you have, but you accidentally blinked while you were driving or riding and soared right through without noticing. Its a quaint New England town, sitting in the northeastern part of Vermont, about 55 miles south of the Canadian boarder and 20 minutes west of New Hampshire.

We flew into Boston, then took a bus north into New Hampshire, where we were met by my parents. My Dad recently had throat surgery to remove some cancerous lumps, so he regaled us with tales of the hallucinations he had while on the medication while we drove the 1+ hr further north to my parents house.

We were there for 7 days, 2 of which were spent traveling. My brother and his family came as well, so the house was plenty full (7 people, 3 dogs and 3 cats). While there, we hung out, played cards & Yahtzee, watched some westerns and of course took photos.

Barn in Danville, VT
A barn in Danville, VT

Tony took a crash course in the art of blacksmithing. He quickly learned that the hammer gets heavier with every swing. (That might be due in part to him taking 100 hits to achieve something that my dad can do in 10) Regardless, he made a plant hanger that we will definitely use on the patio.

 

We also traveled to Bretton Woods, NH to the Mount Washington Hotel Resort. Its a beautiful old hotel at the base of Mt. Washington and has some fantastic views from its wrap around balcony.

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The Mt. Washington Hotel, Bretton Woods, NH

Of course, with my niece Zoey there, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take some portraits. Zoey takes after my sister Eliza, the horse trainer. Zoe loves all things horses and is beside herself with joy any time she is around my moms horse Arlo.

Zoey & Arlo
Zoey & Arlo

Overall, we had a fun trip and it was great to see some family. It even snowed a couple of times. Apparently, it snowed quite a bit more the day we left, as my mom texted me a photo of it snowing with a text that said “thanks for wishing it would snow”. I can only assume she was being sarcastic. We arrived back in Tampa on Monday night, flying in to a beautiful sunset over the water.

Sunset over Florida
Sunset over Clearwater/Tampa

Win Some Photography!

It’s that time of year. The time of giving, the time of receiving oh and the time of giveaways and raffleboxes. Speaking of raffleboxes….we have two and are excited about them!

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We are so happy to have joined with the pediatric dental office of Sandra Makram, D.D.S. for our family portrait session rafflebox. The winner of this giveaway can win a portrait session that can last up to an hour and a half. To sign up for this please go to: 13027 W Linebaugh Ave Suite 102, Tampa, FL 33626. Don’t forget to call and set up your child’s dental appointment with them too. (813) 854-5800

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We are also happy to have joined with the Calla Lily Rose Boutique. This rafflebox is for 6 hours of photography for a Quinceañera. That’s right 6 HOURS! So if you or anybody you know is getting ready to turn 15 years old head on over to the Calla Lily Rose Boutique. They specialize in Quinceañera celebrations. They have dresses, tiaras and all other accessories for that special Quince in your life. To sign up for this giveaway head on over to: 2815 W Waters Ave, Tampa, FL 33614. Don’t forget to call them if you are looking for something in particular. (813) 935-8282

The final day to sign up for our raffleboxes will be November 30, 2017. If you need any additional information on our raffleboxes, have any questions about our portrait sessions, quicneañera or wedding collections or if you’d like to schedule a free consultation call or email us or you can use the contact form below. We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.

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