Thursday, April 30, 2009

Judges' Flare Images+ Quick Tips on Getting Lens Flare!

Here are a few images from our judges that fit the FLARE theme well. Enjoy!

Joe Ayala

Beck Photographic

Cheryl Muhr

Cheryl Muhr

By Bella Valentina Photography

Bella Valentina Photography

Michelle Black

Michelle Black

by Melissa Rodwell

*Quick Tips: Getting Good Lens Flare*

1. Experiment with your aperture settings, and shoot into the sun. Try starting from the top and continue stopping down one full step to view differences. (Do this with different lenses and focal lengths also!) Remember - expose for the subject!

2. Cheapie lens attachments can be an awesome way to get some flare. You can find suitable wide attachments for very reasonable prices on ebay. Be sure to get an attachment that will fit the lens you specifically want to use. Lensbaby's new Superwide is a great compliment to the Composer... and both give some nice flare!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Featuring Joshua Smith of Cinematic Bride + Loktah!

We were thrilled when we acquired award winning wedding videographer Joshua Smith of Cinematic Bride to the FLARE judges' panel. As a videographer, one must take great care to maintain a very skilled eye for lighting and composition, so we knew he would be perfect for the job! You can keep up with what Josh is up to on his blog.

From Josh's blog...

Josh is such a visionary and has also recently developed a company featuring products for media packaging.

From his site...

"Loktah is inspired by the natural beauty of the earth, featuring products that recall the planet’s majestic form.

Loktah's essential element is the organic paper, a renewable source in the foothills of the Himalayas.

This green product rises from the earth to showcase your work to your client. Each product is dipped in bee’s wax to preserve the quality of the paper yet allow the product to age with natural beauty.

Soft twine encircles the product with an organic red stone bead completing the look. Created by hand, each case is slightly unique.

The mystery and beauty of the Himalayan region offers inspiration like no other place on earth."

Please have a look at the loktah site and consider incorporating some of his lovely items into your own business!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Please vote for your Week 3 People's Choice Finalist!

*NOTE: we had to repost a new poll due to an error on our end but all previous votes were logged (none were lost).*

#1 Pixie Hollow by Mallea Ellett
#2 Pacifico Bartender by Julie Comfort
#3 On the Fence by Julie Comfort
#4 Light:Air by Jaclyn Sollars
#5 Hong Kong by Ben Liu
#6 Good Times by Jessica Fajardo Photography
#7 Freedom by Alee Svensson
#8 Dancing Through the Trees by Jessica Fajardo

#9 Blackout by Valerie Oliveiro

#10 Simply Sensual Flare by Erin Buckanis

Monday, April 27, 2009

Your People's Choice Week 2 Finalist - Kathryn Mathis

Congratulations Kathryn Mathis on being the people's pick for our Week 2 People's Choice Finalist! Thanks to all of our participants and voters so far!

Watch for our Week 3 poll later today!

Sponsor FolioMojo & Judge Joe Ayala

After moving into a new market and realizing our previous wedding bookings were mainly a result of word-of-mouth referrals, we decided to tap into our combined marketing knowledge, web development skills and wedding industry savvy to bring attention to our photography business. With no more than a shoe string budget, our Mac tower, endless cups of liquid caffeine, countless late nights (seriously) and a passion to succeed, we created an online marketing plan that got our website in front of lots of interested brides. In fact 45-50% of the weddings we book are from brides who find us online. We were fully booked and profitable our first year in our new location!
Then an interesting thing happened. Our wedding photographer friends started calling, asking how we were getting our site to the top of the listings in the search engine results pages. Online Mojo we said and winked. that's when we decided that although we loved our own success, we wanted to help other photographers be successful just as much. The idea for FolioMojo was born.

Joe Ayala was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico but has resided in Lorain & Cleveland, Ohio most of his life. A primarily self-taught artist, he studies and practices through the influences of Renaissance Art through 19th Century European Art. His expansion of inspiration, experimentation and ideas came when he became a noted curator and participating artist in many solo and group shows in the Cleveland area from 2004 to 2007. His influence as a painter, illustrator and promoter has encouraged many other emerging Cleveland artists and collectors to do the same to bring a new generation of creativity and energy to the city and to help put Cleveland on the map as a premiere arts destination.
As well as creating an ample collection of paintings, drawings and ideas for new exhibitions, he gained national notoriety in 2007 when he was one of five artists selected to draft, paint and assist what would become the last mural designed by the late international artist Sol LeWitt and is now a permanent piece in the main lobby at the new Akron Art Museum.
His latest projects include headlining a major group exhibition this September as well as collaborating and producing the top rated online radio show in Cleveland called “Life Death Reset” which can be heard on He is also currently writing & directing their first commercial for the show.

Thanks to our very generous sponsors and judges and good luck to all of our participants!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Judge Thomas Beck & Sponsor My Funky Camera!

Today we are profiling Thomas Beck and My Funky Camera for their support!

When Thomas Beck picks up a camera, his goal is to create commercial and editorial photography that extends beyond what is expected. As proprietor of Beck Photographic, he applies a method of interaction to understand and convey the essence of businesses, people, and environments. He is lending his valuable time to us to assist us in our very difficult judging process. Please lend your support by visiting his site as well!

Gabi, of My Funky Camera creates neck straps, wristlets, and fabric covered composition journals for those of us that want something a little less ordinary - you have to check these out! The fabric is so fun and as much as I LOVE my Nikon, these beat the heck out of my yellow and black strap lol! Head over and take a look around!

As always, thanks so much to our sponsors and judges and good luck to all of our entrants!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Today we are profiling Bludomain - whose fresh, modern templates are a must for every photographer. Who wouldn't want a stylish, clean website that is also super easy to self maintain?! A special thanks to Blu for donating $25 to each of our top 9 winners, as well as a free flash template + 1 year of FREE hosting to our Grand Prize winner!

Onto one of our awesome judges,
A U N D R E A!

Aundrea Hasselbach is one of the creative genuises behind everything design related at Blu. For the past five years she has been carefully hand selecting each photograph that appears on the bludomain sample sites and is the sole visionary of the exclusive blu couture line. Her extreme attention to detail, style, and art shows through in everything she touches. A natural visionary, she has an innate ability in finding new talent and bringing them to the forefront of the photographic industry.

Thanks for reading, and go stop by Blu's site today to check out some of their newly designed templates!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Week 2 People's Choice Finalist poll!

#1 All you soul-searchin' people c'mon! by Matthew Morgan #2 See of Wonder by Sean Wright
#3 Staying With the Light. by Christopher Mann#4 Sunkissed by Kathryn Mathis

#5 Resting by Jennifer Whisenhunt

#6 Breathe Elizabeth Leighton

#7 Murder Noir by Cheyne Gallarde

#8 Bethany by Braeden Rogers

#9 Taking Back Roads by Jennifer Hogan

#10 Kenneth by Jennifer Hogan

Please choose your favorite image and vote for the Week 2 People's Choice Award Finalist in the poll to the right!

Good luck!

Week 1 People's Choice Finalist!

And this week's finalist to be considered for the People's Choice Award is Stephanie Cantin with her image titled Alive! Congratulations Stephanie and good luck!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Week 3 Sponsor/Judge Feature!

This week's featured sponsor is AsukaBook USA! AsukaBook is an international company located in Bend, Oregon. Their headquarters, Asukanet, started manufacturing coffee table books in Japan in 1995, and continues to print and bind books for clients worldwide. Asukanet (Japan) asked Kevin Kubota to be their USA representative in 2005 and thus AsukaBook USA launched in March of that year; and has been booming ever since. Kevin is also the owner of Kubota Image Tools, Kubota Photo Design, and Red Boot Design.

"Our business mantra is to Empower Photographers, and everything we sell and do is designed around that simple principle. If it won't help you make money, or become a better photographer, we won't offer it."

AsukaBook USA was one of the first companies to offer professional quality coffee table style printed books for photographers. They offer a superior product with a polished look and feel that is very popular with photographer's clients.

AsukaBook products have received the Hot One award in 2005, 2007, and 2008. AsukaBook is proud of these accomplishments and strives to continue to innovate and provide customer service that exceeds all expectations.

Our featured judge for the week is Scott Perry of Think Photographics! "Think Photographics started off as a hobby, we never really thought it would end up where it has. Although we mainly aim to shoot weddings (no pun), we do a lot of portraiture as well. We find all kinds of joy and gratification from seeing people in Love. Our style has developed and become refined and we believe it alone makes us stand out from other photographers in our area."

Please be so kind as to visit our judge and sponsor sites! Its the least we can do in return for their generous prizes!!!

Thanks and good luck to all of our photographers!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Your Weekly Top 10 Poll! Please vote for your favorite image!

So we've carefully rounded up the first week's Top 10! Take some time to look over them all and then vote for your 1 favorite image for the week at the poll to the right!

Remember - this is not a vote for the overall winner! This is a chance for all of you to vote for your People's Choice Winner to win a 1 year membership to WPPI!!! Thank you and good luck!

Jessica & Michelle