Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Value of the right Wedding Photographer

Wedding season is just around the corner... 
In these rough economic times, the photography package may seem like the easiest thing to compromise in order to trim your wedding budget, but choosing the right wedding photographer is one of the most important decisions you can make when planning your wedding.  Long after the guests have gone home, the thank you notes have been written, and the dress has been put away, your wedding photographs will help preserve the memories from your wedding day for generations...   

At Jordana Wright Photography we offer everything you could want in a Wedding Photography package at prices you can afford.  There's no need to scrimp or compromise on your Wedding Photography, with packages from just $975. 

Contact us today to discuss your vision for your wedding photography.   

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Valentine's Day offer for Engagement Sessions!

Are you looking for a special way to celebrate Valentine's Day this year?  Give someone you love the gift of lasting memories with an Engagement Session!  

Engagement Photos are a fun and exciting way to get revved up for your wedding!  From personalized guestbooks to table-top photo centerpieces, there are so many ways to incorporate your engagement photographs into your wedding...

Book your session soon!  We are very excited to be able to offer a $25 discount for sessions booked by February 14th, 2010!  Contact us for details! 

Monday, January 18, 2010

A day off from work... and winter!

Mostly everyone is home from work today, presenting the perfect opportunity to revisit my favorite island paradise... The snow is melting in central Illinois and I keep hoping that the rest of the winter will be mild.  Here is a quick post with a few more shots from our trip last month to the British Virgin Islands to help everyone think warm thoughts...

Footprints in the sand on the beach at Mango Bay Resort...

 A goat is our only company during a sunrise at Coppermine Point.  The rocks all around him are rich with copper deposits (all of the green coloration)...

Various sea birds sun themselves and rest from a full morning of fishing.  The pelican (2nd from the right) had been shaking his head furiously before he started airing out his throat... maybe a little fish-tail down the wrong pipe?

Another of the beautiful views on Virgin Gorda.  This photo was taken at Little Dix Bay, home to some of the most beautiful landscaping on the island.

Every dinner at the Mineshaft Cafe is special... not only is the food excellent and the sunsets beautiful, but a flock of chickens begin a raucous daily squabble at the base of a tree shortly before sunset, below the restaurants outdoor deck.  Throughout the chicken fight, they jump higher and higher in the tree, both to instigate and evade eachother.  Just after sunset, the chickens can be seen nestled in the tree top.  The resident cat of the Mineshaft Cafe (shown above) seems impervious to the daily chicken wars and far prefers going from table to table in search of food scraps and affection.

Thanks for visiting... more pictures of paradise coming soon!

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Digital Photography Revolution, or The 'If You Give A Mouse A Cookie' Spiral

     It all starts with the switch to digital.  Photography, always an expensive proposition for hobbyists and professionals, is suddenly available to the masses with a seemingly more reasonable initial investment.  No more costly film labs, no more delayed gratification waiting for those prints to get developed.  If you are a do-it-yourselfer, no more smelly chemicals or hours on your feet in a darkroom.  No more pressure to get it right the first time.  No more counting seconds, retouching with a paintbrush, dodging, burning, filtering,  bleaching, rinsing, standing, agitating, drying, waiting...  For many, digital photography is the streamlined solution.  The act of photographing can be just as fun and rewarding as it was before, but without the lengthy post-processing hassle that goes along with film photography.  Its easier, its cheaper, and you can do it all sitting down in your comfy, lumbar-supporting office chair -- with the lights on!  What's not to love?!  
     With all of the major advancements taking place in photographic technology today, photographers face some very difficult decisions.  How much computer editing or digital manipulation is too much?  When do your image files stop being photographs and start being collages?  Just because you can do something with your commendable level of computer savvy, does that mean you should?  
     When I was a kid, one of my favorite books was 'If You Give A Mouse A Cookie'.  For those who aren't familiar with the story, it features an energetic and demanding mouse who is offered a cookie and then requests a glass of milk, which naturally, is expected to accompany a cookie.  Once he receives his milk, he has a new related request, which leads to another related request, which leads to another related request and so on and so forth until he sufficiently overstays his welcome by demanding too much and completely exhausting his host.  My concern is that the more we allow for the infiltration of what is digitally possible into what we classify as 'photography' the more we will need to allow in the future.  Digital brightening of an image begets contrast adjustment, begets color and saturation adjustment, begets spot removal, begets removal of distracting telephone poles, or birds, or people, and on it goes until... this, or this, and while they're both really cool, they're not really real.  
     Digital manipulation has become such a regular way of life in approaching photography that the French government  is working on a law to feature disclaimers on photoshopped advertisements, fearing that its population's self esteem is based on fabricated images of beauty.  Many portrait photographers and digital photo-labs offer levels of service based on how much physical alteration their clients would like.  Removal of braces, wrinkles, or extra weight from the holidays can be purchased for an hourly photoshopping rate.  Two years ago my Dad's side of the family (all 35+ of us) gathered on a beach in Cape Cod for a family portrait.  We were photographed by a well-reviewed photographer who seemed to pay very little attention to the light levels, location of the sun, direction of the wind, or overall composition within the beach environment.  He told us that he would photoshop out any issues in the environment, and if anyone blinked he could "trade heads" from another shot.  How confident have we gotten in our skills as digital manipulation artists to become so lazy at the time of shooting?  Perhaps a better photoshopper would have been able to perform the head-trade trick successfully, but I have to say that one of my cousins had a definite Exorcist appearance from the neck up.        
     So how do we keep up with the times, the trends, the technology without selling our souls to our computers?  How do we maintain our credibility as photographers -- in the original definition of the word -- without losing clients or opportunities to those with fewer scruples on the subject?  There's no easy answer. The purity of photography is relative.  I may consider myself to be a purist, but to someone who is a die-hard tintype-er I'm about as authentic as Disneyworld.  We can only hope to please ourselves with our art, making small concessions to the tide of constant advancement in photographic technology, and hope that what we stand for is enough to set us apart from the rest.
      Below I have included my first few photoshop efforts  in the burgeoning tide of HDR.  As digital collages, I find them appealing and compelling.  There is something to be said for the beauty of an HDR image.  But as my father so succinctly put it yesterday when I asked his opinion of these images, "they're not photography."

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Senior's Portraits Promo Offer...

Check out our new promo-video for Senior Portraits!  Book a Senior Portrait Session by February 15th and receive $25 off your session!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Since it feels like -1* F outside...

it's time for some pictures from paradise!  Unfortunately, our suntans are mostly faded, and the weather all across the United States is less than ideal, but here is the third installment of photographs from our recent trip to the British Virgin Islands to remind us all that spring will be here before we know it (right???)...

This is one of my many pelican friends from Mahoe Bay on Virgin Gorda.  Here he is seen mid-dive to snatch a few fish out of the shallow water.  Its hard to spend any amount of time looking at these birds up-close and not see an obvious connection to their dinosaur ancestors.  They are very Pterodactyl-ish... which, I believe, is a valid scientific term...

I took this photograph during our descent from Gorda Peak -- the highest point in Virgin Gorda.  It was a rugged hike, but worth it to see the sensational views from the lookout tower at the top.  Once again, we had the trail entirely to ourselves, with the exception of a snake (all are non-venomous in Virgin Gorda) we saw on the way back down.  He seemed very confused by our early morning appearance.

This image was taken during the first full moon in December.  After a delicious dinner at The Mineshaft Cafe, we drove down to Coppermine Point and took some long exposures of the Caribbean seascape by moonlight.  One of my favorite things about the weather in the Virgin Islands is how isolated the rain showers can be.  This photo was taken in between two heavy downpours.  Shortly after the shutter closed, the cloud in the top of the frame sent us running back to the car.

  These seed pods are from one example of the many varieties of Palm Trees found in Virgin Gorda.  This tree was located just steps away from our room at Mango Bay Resort.

Here is a shot of the impressive architectural design of The Pavilion -- a restaurant at Little Dix Bay resort in Virgin Gorda.  We visited the resort to check out their beautiful gardens and amenities.  It is definitely an expensive choice, but from what we could see, well worth the price.

   For the last image, on this cold blustery day, I'll leave you with a sunset much prettier than the one currently available outside my window in Illinois.  This was taken, once again, from our favorite spot in the islands --  a secret road where the sunsets are always breathtaking, the goats are always plentiful, and a sense of seclusion and peace surrounds you.

Stay warm, and check back soon for more shots from our Caribbean adventures!  Happy New Year!!!