Perfect Smile or Perfect Moment?

Family Portraits - Cousins

Stealing Grapes

Perfect smile or perfect moment? I’m not your classic portrait photographer in that I would much rather capture the real moment, which tells a much more interesting story than the perfectly posed photo.  Don’t get me wrong, there are situations where a perfectly posed photo is called for but for most family portraits – real trumps perfect pose.

The picture on the right is of cousin sitting on front steps.  I had the posed up, smiling – everything was looking good.  I brought the camera down from my face and said we were going to take a short break.  That’s when the magic starting happening.

The sharing of grapes, actually – the girl was stealing some, was the money shot.

What started off good ended up GREAT!


Patel Rohan

The above photo was shot by my fellow photographer (and daughter) Sydni.  This young man waiting for his time with the family, for their portrait session. He’s an incredibly patient and kind young man but you can tell he’s nearing the end of his energy.


This young man was far too tired to deal with a photographer. Dad stepped up, put him in his lap and we were able to capture a moment in time that a posed photo could not afford us.


Just a few minutes ago these two men became ‘family’ as there kids just got hitched.  They were so happy so posing them would not have been a huge problem.  Probably would have got a really nice shot but I think this picture, more candid, tells a but better story.

As a photographer, spending time with those I shoot is the best part and it’s during those times where the best photos are captured.

Let’s spend some time together!


Free Spec Work?

Free Spec Work?Creatives are often asked to do FREE work, especially Spec Work.  There are grandiose promises of future work, at a reduced rate of course.  Especially when we are starting off, or hungry, we will agree to almost anything.  Don’t be tempted.  Not only does it hurt you but in undermines our industry.

I have spent tens of thousands of dollars on training, software, hardware and other things that have made me better at my craft.  Why should I, and you, get paid as any other professional?  When I hear from a potential client that a friend of theirs will do it for FREE, that doesn’t motivate me to under sell my craft, and it shouldn’t you either.  Also, please don’t shoot weddings for $300-$500.  You’ll lose your shirt and you hurt the industry.

Adweek just posted this article and video that we, as creative professionals, and our potential clients should take a look at.  ENJOY!


People in other industries don’t provide their would-be clients with “spec work” for free. That would be asinine. So, why do advertising agencies continue to do it?

It’s not a new question. (This Adweek story from August was just the latest assessment of a practice that goes back decades.) But Toronto agency Zulu Alpha Kilo really illustrates just how ludicrous it is—in the great video below, in which a guy approaches real men and women (not actors) in other businesses and asks them to provide him with a product or service for free, to see if he likes it before committing to more. [read more]