If you were born before the year 2000 you will remember photography before the digital age. The first photographic print was the heliography invented around 1824 by Nicephore Niepce. The image was accomplished with bitumen of Judea spread on a silver plate after an exposure time of several days. Let’s jump 195 years into the future and we are in a digital age of photography where even your cell phone can take better pictures than a Digital SLR camera from 12 years ago.
Today’s generation won’t understand that feeling of going to the store and purchasing some film for a point and shoot camera. Taking that film and loading it into the camera burning through the 24 images photographing all that is important in your life. Then driving back to the store with that anxious feeling of wanting to know how your pictures are going to turn out waiting for the film to be developed. It was like Christmas morning, awaiting the ok nod or smile from Mom and Dad, to open your gifts that were placed under the Christmas tree. Once the filmed was developed and you got to look through them, you saw several images that you love, compelling you to purchase frames to display these images in your room, your home, or to give as a gift. These pictures represent a memory of a moment in time you will never be able to recreate the same way. Having those prints was a way to share with all your friends and family that moment you were proud of. It allowed them the opportunity to be a part of that moment even though they weren’t there, and the opportunity for the story behind the picture.
Since the year 2000 technology as advanced so fast that we moved from film cameras to digital cameras. In 19 years, we have almost forgotten the true art form of using film cameras to capture pictures and the whole process of developing. Even as a photographer the instant gratification of being able to look at an image right after taking it and deciding to keep it or not has made me at times forget my roots of photography. With the digital age there is a direct link now from cell phone cameras to social media. Social media is this generations perceived form of “print” media creating a disconnect on the value of the art form of photography and investing in printing images. If you are anything like me when you take a picture with your phone you end up forgetting all about it or it gets lost with the hundreds of other photos you take. As an artist, we want to capture the moments that you cherish. The moments that you want to share and never forget. It’s ok to share with all to see on social media, but its also ok to print it for the intimacy of your home or room, and for those friends and family to see when they walk in.
When you purchase the sessions for photography and then the prints to reminisce on the moments you created. Think of it as you are purchasing the ability to re-live the laughter and the love of that moment. The ability to stop what you are doing and remind yourself that in the business of life and work, its ok to stop what you are doing and capture special moments with the ones you love and never want to forget.
Being that the Uniquely Yours Bridal Show in Norfolk VA, was our first bridal show we didn’t know what to expect. The sounds of hundreds of future brides and their entourages milling around the Norfolk Scopes 5,650 square foot exhibition hall, the smells of a thousand wedding cake samples, the sounds of the many DJ companies having their own little parties, the all day fashion show where brides could purchase the dress the model is wearing, to the total of 140 vendors with all their booths meticulously decorated. I was not, however, expecting the amount of brides and other guest that loved our booth, our brand, and the overwhelming support from many vendors that attended.
As part of any industry there are expos and that even includes the wedding industry. Wedding expos around the country bring together soon-to-be married couples and the vendors vying for their business together in a one stop shop for a 5 hour event. The vendors range in size from large chains like Bed Bath and Beyond to your local photographer like us. For many brides who want to have a good “wedding”, expos can be extraordinarily influential. Many photographers in the Virginia Beach area can cost upwards of thousands of dollars. So having a room full of possible and potential vendors can help couples who want to take on more of their wedding planning themselves to get the best bang for their buck. For Epic Beard Photography we feel that our prices, starting with package 1 at $2500.00, is very competitive with other photographers in the Virginia Beach area.
At the Uniquely Yours Bridal Show we wanted to have our booth represent who we are, our style, and our brand. We are Industrial with a touch of rustic, Our photographic style we like to have fun with a touch of romance. In our style we love color and we show it by making the colors pop. The booth came about from Stephanie’s vision and through my jack of all trades and a master of none skill set. During the show we had a raffle to win our Specialty Portrait Session and the winner was Holli Adams, CONGRATULATIONS! We will be photographing her and her fiancée in April. We have some big plans for their session so stay tuned.
We were just figuring out what was next for Epic Beard Photography as we were wrapping up 2017. As the year went on our excitement grew as Epic Beard Photography expanded. Our excitement grew out of the many opportunities which included photographing Engagement sessions, Weddings, Family Portrait sessions, Sporting events, Themed sessions, and even some Commercial work.
The engagement and weddings that we got to photograph were such an honor because these couples trusted us to capture their special time in their lives as they close one chapter of life and start another. Robert Fulghum states it best in his book True Love “We’re all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness- and call it love-true love.” With that being said, when I am with my wife and we are photographing an engagement or wedding together, I always think about how we met, the journey we have been on and how much she loves and supports all my weirdness. For that I fall in love with her all over again.
There were three family portrait sessions that we enjoyed photographing. Two sessions in particular were of my brother and my sister in-law’s maternity session when we were all together over the summer spending quality time. The second favorite session was when my sister asked me to do family portraits as our Christmas gift to her and her family when we went home for Christmas in Florida. What made the first 2 sessions so special to me was that my family sees the artistic abilities I have to capture their moments, and to put my artwork on their walls for everyone to see. The third favorite and fun family portrait session we got to do was for the Diaz family. She contacted us to photograph a special Mother’s Day family photo session. This session was special because her son was home from Japan and her daughter came home between Navy A school and C school, and it had been a long while since everyone was together.
Sporting events in 2018 were expanded, and we did more with photographing horse shows for the Virginia Beach Horse Show Association (VBHSA). We did 4 shows as our schedule permitted. The other big sporting event that we photograph this year and had fun doing was Roller Derby for the Dominion Derby Girls. Roller Derby was different but exciting to photograph. In 2019 I am planning to expand our sports category.
In 2018 we had found a niche that we enjoy which is really fun because we are able to use our imagination. The story lines were unlimited. Earlier in 2018 I did a King Arthur inspired session which I got to try some new editing techniques. Next, we got introduced to photographing Pin-Up, and the sky was the limit. We worked with some very incredible ladies, and we were published in Rocket Girl Magazine. As a result of our Pin-Up work we also had the opportunity to work with some really cool rat-rod cars from around the Hampton Roads area. We also did a rat-rod session in Orlando FL. Our themed session photographed with smoke grenades in First Landing State Park was fun as well. We have done boudoir before, but what made this session special that it was first time working with smoke grenades. It was the clients idea and we delivered.
I am also a staff photographer for commercial parts distributor that produces high end auto parts for luxury cars. As a staff photographer my photos enable customers to view the products before purchase.
Looking into 2019 we started the year out by doing our first bridal show at the Uniquely Yours Bridal show at the Norfolk Scope which proved to be highly successful. This event was quickly followed by an assignment to photograph NCAA Basketball and Wrestling Tournaments
Hope to see you in 2019 to fulfill your photography needs.