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Las Vegas Elopement – Nicki and James on The Strip and Fremont

October 29, 2012 | By | No Comments

OK, this is the CLASSIC Vegas elopement right here. These guys called us while they were driving to their new home in San Francisco from the South, while looking at our website on their iPad. Very 21st Century baby!

Next day they blew into Vegas ready to get married, and to have a blast while doing it! I met them at the Courthouse in downtown Vegas, recorded their actual ceremony (I was a witness, too! Freebie! :-) ) then we drove all over Vegas’s hot spots, like the Bellagio, and Old Vegas on The Fremont.

I love spontaneous passion-filled elopements where the bride & groom just have to have great photography. We do that! :-) Congratulations to Nicki and James in their new life up in gorgeous San Francisco.

Las Vegas Country Club Wedding – Classic Vegas Style – Verdant Comfort

October 28, 2012 | By | No Comments

I love so much about this couple Laura and Greg, not least among reasons the venue they chose – the Las Vegas Country Club. Like Laura & Greg, LVCC is laid back yet classic.

With lush green landscaping  every direction the Las Vegas Country Club is perhaps the most verdant, comfortable and beautiful venue in Vegas – certainly so close to downtown Las Vegas.

Due to some kind of conservation easement thingy I don’t pretend to understand, LVCC has more water and therefore more green than just about any place in Vegas. I love how it feels and looks.
Weddings with flip flops, open bars and khaki pants are one of my favorite kinds of wedding! These guys were just as warm and relaxed as they look right here.Laura sharing the good news with someone she loves.Laura enjoying her family and guests on this most special day in this most extraordinary location, tucked right into the middle of Las Vegas.What signature drink will your wedding offer? I want one of these, right now. Yum.Green, sunset orange, and more green. Perfect.I love THE MOMENT.
So cute, walking into the distance as man and wife.Yea, that’s the Wynn, a stone’s throw away. LVCC is right next to The Strip, but a million miles away.Get ready for the amazing banquet prepared by LVCC’s own staff and offered by Laura and Greg to their lucky guests. I’m hungry now :-)This Patio is the perfect place to throw a reception. People can sit and talk in the open air. Or they can dance like teenagers with overflowing hormones. Or they can eat like royalty.My DIET resumes tomorrow. Now please make room for me and my giant plate!Admit it. You’re hungry now, too, aren’t you?Some of the super star talent who prepared the sumptuous feast.It’s just like Laura and Greg to share the spotlight of their wedding day with the birthday girl.I just love the open air patio, fully resurfaced shortly before this wedding took place.

Cori and Rakan Bring Sexy to the Las Vegas Desert and Nelson Eldorado Canyon

October 13, 2012 | By | One Comment

While all my couples are beautiful, these guys are kinda extra smokin’ hot, amiright? They’ve been married a little while, but they acted like teenagers in love, they were so into each other. I just stood around and recorded the awesomeness! Thanks for making my job so easy Cori & Rakan. Shooting at the never-boring Nelson / Eldorado Canyon just made it all the more perfect. Nelson’s got cactus and wood and even a crashed airplane used in the Hollywood movie “3,000 Miles to Graceland” with famous libertarian Kurt Russel and Kevin Costner. We should all go make awesome down there. :-)

Why’s It Take So Long To Get My Photos?

September 5, 2012 | By | One Comment

AFTER: this image was dramatically improved with some quick context-sensitive fill-in, cloning out my lovely wife and lighting assistant Christina, a little toning, crop and vignetting. Voila!

AFTER: we patched up the grass, cropped in a little tighter, bumped a tone curve on it. This is what a *finishedimage looks like. We spend a lot of time making your images look better.

BEFORE: This is what the image looked like straight out of the camera (pretty nice, right? :-) ) But the grass needs sprucing up, she could use a vignette, and the crop is a little wide.

STEVE, you promise to get our photos to us in 6-12 weeks. Why’s it take that long?

That’s a fair question. The quick answer is because we care. We care deeply about how great your photos look. And we want them to look the very best that they can. We’ve even had clients say they think we care more about making their photos great than they do.

For a full day wedding we’ll come home with 2,000 to 4,000 images. We touch every single one, if only to put some out of their misery :-)  Most photos, however, we love dearly, and like a fussy mother we want our gorgeous children to look their best, their hair combed, their shirt tucked in, that chocolate milk shake mustache wiped off of their pretty face.

What exactly do we do that takes so long? Here’s an incomplete, short list of some of the things we do to just about every photo we touch.

  • culling (rate, reject, accept, star)
  • dust spot removal
  • crop / straighten
  • adjust color temperature / white balance
  • exposure / f/stop
  • fill light
  • black point
  • brightness
  • contrast
  • clarity / sharpen
  • vibrance
  • tone curve
  • noise reduction
  • vignette

Then for some photos we take it even further, giving extra special TLC in advanced editing apps like Photoshop. Often when I use off-camera lighting I need to remove my assistant & the light & light stand from the shot using Photoshop.

Please enjoy seeing the BEFORE & AFTER examples below. And thank you for your patience as we get our children cleaned up, looking their best before we send them out the door over to your house!   :-)

AFTER: Cloned out my lighting assistant, a smidge of toning & vignetting.AFTER: saturation, sharpening, toning, vignetting.

AFTER: cloning out my lighting assistant, selective toning on my beautiful happy couple.

What Do People Save From Their Burning Homes?

August 27, 2012 | By | No Comments

Woman holding wedding photo of her grandparents, one of the only things salvaged from the wildfire that burned down her home.

This is so moving.

God forbid anyone reading this ever has to choose what to save from their burning home.

Staff photographer Mike Simons of the Tulsa World interviewed 10 people burned out of their homes and photographed them with the few things they were able to salvage. I encourage you to listen to the audio clips beneath each photo.

Some folks got out with nothing but the burned clothes on their backs. Others were able to grab a few things most important to them, including:

  • “22 Magnum Pistol, clothes, important papers.”
  • “My faith. [Bible] My citizenship. [certificate of US citizenship]”
  • “[a photo of] … my grandma, my grandpa… this is their wedding picture. both have passed away. this is just one of the few things you have left.”
  • “Lever-action 30.  I do a lot of hunting. And for family protection. I got several of them. They’re all loaded.”

The Worst Case of Image Stealing I’ve Ever Seen

August 26, 2012 | By | No Comments

I didn’t want to have to write this blog post about the image-stealer Seattle-Tacoma Photographer Benjamin Ramalho. But it is the worst example of image-stealing and bad behavior by a “photographer” that I’ve ever seen.

Me and many others aware of this case have given Tacoma Seattle photography thief Benjamin Ramalho numerous opportunities to acknowledge his thieving and lying, to demonstrate remorse, to give some reason to believe that he will never again steal other photographer’s images and call them his own.

Yet, as of this morning, the thief, Benjamin Ramalho, demonstrates complete lack of remorse, and denies his personal culpability in this extremely well-documented expose detailing the scores of photographs he stole from at least 37 photographers. In each case he added his watermark to their work, and in many cases he painstakingly removed existing watermarks before adding his own.

Additionally, this very morning, August 26, 2012, in a direct text message to me Benjamin Ramalho said “[I] wasn’t aware the images belonged to others.” O.0

INCREDIBLY, just a few days ago he actually threatened to sue the blogger who outed him over at PHOTO STEALERS.

Because of his criminal behavior and utter lack of remorse, I feel compelled to write this blog post – and I encourage everyone else affected by image stealing to write their own – because I fear that this image thief will go right back to image stealing as soon as the pressure and spotlight is off.

The spotlight was put on him 6 days ago through the excellent sleuthing and detective work of the PHOTO STEALERS blog. The blog author outs “photographers” whose websites are filled with other photographer’s work. In most cases, the fauxtographer quickly shamefully remorsefully apologizes, shuts down, and goes away.

For example, a very recent and famous (among photographers) case of a photo-stealer who was outed and then quickly apologized and publicly demonstrated remorse & culpability is detailed over at People of the Second Chance by photography stealer Meagan Kunert. I wish Meagan all the best as she tries to rebuild her life and career. And I have no reason to believe that she will again attempt to steal others’ images and call them her own.

Benjamin Ramalho, on the other hand, is another matter. While I’m not saying that Benjamin Ramalho is a sociopathic liar and thief – because that could be construed as libel if it were not true – I will say that Benjamin Ramalho, Tacoma Seattle Photographer, owner of 247protographyhas publicly and repeatedly demonstrated all of the following traits that are associated with the clinical definition of sociopaths:

    • Glibness and Superficial Charm
    • Manipulative and Conning
    • Pathological Lying
    • Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt

    Do I have any evidence that Benjamin Ramalho has shown glibness, conning, pathological lying, and a lack of remorse? Why YES, I DO. Lots and lots of evidence. He publicly and repeatedly demonstrates all of these things in his well-documented behavior and comments over at PHOTO STEALERS. The web of lies and story-shifting he has told so far is as follows, in order:

    1. The people accusing me are just jealous haters.
    2. Those are my partner sites, we work directly together.
    3. Those people stole images from me.
    4. I’ll talk to my staff and see what happened, will have a staff meeting regarding this.
    5. The people who are accusing me of stealing have had their Facebook accounts hacked.
    6. If you dislike the images or find them offensive, then report them to Facebook.
    7. They were already on my site when I bought it.
    8. I only put a couple of images on my site as placeholders.
    9. I Googled “wedding photography” and chose images that I admired, then used them because I didn’t know they weren’t free to use.
    10. Lightroom put the watermark on the photos, not me (note that in several cases, he removed the original watermarks).
    11. I never used anything stolen on my site. He literally said this, despite admitting 10 minutes earlier that he had taken images off Google: “Nothing you have ever admired or commented on was anyone else’s work but my own.”
    12. I did steal the photos, and I am ashamed. I welcome any negative comments you have to say about me. (even though at this point he continued to delete anything negative said about him and leave only the positive messages)
    13. My apology is only to two photographers. I didn’t take from anyone else.
    14. Okay fine, I stole from 3 photographers, but that’s it.
    15. If you tell people I stole photos, I’m going to sue you for defamation.
    And then, as noted above, this very morning he texted to me the lie “[I] wasn’t aware the images belonged to others.”
    This list of photographers whose work he has stolen is very long. Thank you to the author of PHOTO STEALERS for her painstaking meticulous work in tracking down the original creators of some of the photos stolen by Benjamin Ramalho. Here is that list:
    1. Prestige Portraits
    2. Connie Reggio Photography
    3. Peter DeMott Photography
    4. Matt Andrews Photography
    5. Aslinn Kate Photography
    6. Jamie Lee Photography
    7. Halberg Photographers
    8. Karma Hill Photographers
    9. A Bryan Photo
    10. Erica Clements Photography
    11. Lynn Quinlivan Photography
    12. AV Photography
    13. Pink Paisley Photography
    14. Melissa Hassey Photography
    15. Orange Rose Photography
    16. Sweet Things Photography
    17. Lindsay Horn Photography
    18. Michelle Janet Photography
    19. Slinky Genius
    20. Yellow House Photography
    21. Elizabeth Scott Photography
    22. Melissa Musgrove Photography
    23. Red Bird Hills
    24. Artful Weddings by Sachs Photography
    25. Jennifer Kathryn Photography
    26. Karlisch Photography
    27. Genevieve Leiper Photography
    28. Clary Photo
    29. Hillary Maybery Photography
    30. MQ Photography
    31. Kylene and Ryan Studios
    32. Grey Photography
    33. Hazelnut Photography
    34. Laurie Peacock Photography
    35. Autumn Burke Photography
    36. Souder Photography/Love is a Big Deal
    37. Marvin Tsai
    My goal in creating this blog post are two-fold. First, I wish to see Benjamin Ramalho (253) 970-1344 publicly acknowledge his personal culpability in stealing scores of photographs from at least 37 photographers, and demonstrate remorse for his criminal action and lies. Second I wish to see other photographers and interested Netizens create their own blog posts detailing Tacoma-Seattle Photographer Benjamin Ramalho’s image-thieving lying recent history, to contact him directly (253) 970-1344, to request that he demonstrate remorse and personal culpability in this matter.
    When I see Benjamin Ramalho (253) 970-1344, owner of, publicly acknowledge his personal culpability in the well-documented stealing of scores of images from at least 37 photographers, I will gladly remove this blog post, and encourage others to do the same, and I will wish him well in his attempts to rebuild his photography career that he has just shattered.