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Incentives Matter – 6 Year Old Loves Math

October 7, 2010 | By | No Comments

We recently discovered Khan Academy, and now all three of our school-aged boys are enjoying learning math (and earning $1 per lesson) at their own pace. If it’s good enough for Bill Gates’ kids, it’s got my attention 😉

FogartyFOTO_KhanAcademy_IMG_6429

FogartyFOTO_KhanAcademy_IMG_6433

Learning math is fun when I earn one dollar for every chapter dad.

Learning math is fun when I earn one dollar for every chapter dad.

It’s Cool Being Ten

October 6, 2010 | By | No Comments

My oldest boy built a nice strong bike ramp, from an entertainment center discarded by a neighbor. He and a couple of his brothers and a best friend tried it out tonight. It’s cool being ten years old.

Being eight is cool!

Being eight is cool!

Being ten is cool!

Being ten is cool!

Being eight is cool!

Being eight is cool!

Can you get your engagement photos taken in a casino or on the floor?

September 27, 2010 | By | No Comments

Here’s a great essay from my friend Juliet Douglas, wedding planner extraordinaire, on the ins & outs of getting your photo taken inside & on the floor of a Las Vegas casino. In short, easier said than done! 😉

In my experience, we’re generally tossed out of most casinos within a few minutes of breaking out professional gear (e.g., tripod, off-camera lights). Juliet’s essay gives some good tips on how you and your photographer may be able to get these photos.

Another thing that has helped my brides get photos in the casino (not necessarily on the gaming floor) is for the bride & groom to have a room in the hotel.

During this shoot, we were approached by security w/in a few minutes after we started shooting. As soon as they learned that my couple had a room and had just gotten married there, the Wynn security left us alone.

Judith & Kenneth @ The Wynn

Judith & Kenneth @ The Wynn

Whereas, without a room reservation, this couple and I were escorted out of The Bellagio within about 5 minutes of the beginning of our shoot. Different hotel. Same photographer. Different relationship of the b&g to the hotel.

Maythe & Shawn @ the Bellagio

Maythe & Shawn @ the Bellagio moments before being escorted out.

Bedtime reading

September 27, 2010 | By | No Comments

Incentives work. Our kids love reading. Is it because they earn a penny a page, or double that when they read to one of their brothers? Is it because they can instead choose Wii points, one minute of Wii time for every minute they read? Or is it because they get some quality time with mom?

My guess is that it is all of the above 😉 Incentives work.

Quality Time with Mom

Quality Time with Mom

4 Reasons to Hire a 2nd Shooter

September 14, 2010 | By | No Comments

I always encourage my brides to consider hiring a second photographer or “2nd Shooter” on their wedding day. I only work with 2nd shooters whose photography and interpersonal skills are at the highest levels. I pay them well because they are worth it.

Following are 4 very good reasons for every bride to consider hiring a 2nd photographer, for at least 3 hours during your wedding.

1. More complete coverage. While no amount of coverage can guarantee that your photographer gets every shot you want, more professional, artistic eyes clicking shots on your wedding day will result in more and better photography that you’ll love.

2. Insurance, distributed risk. While it’s never happened to me (thank You, God 😉 ), bad things can happen to your principal photographer on the way to your wedding or to your photos after the wedding. Having a 2nd photographer travelling in a 2nd car using a 2nd camera and lenses and CF cards distributes the risk, and assures that you will get coverage and photos of your wedding.

3. Faster flow. Your photography moves more quickly if you’ve hired a 2nd photographer. If your principal photographer uses strobes, someone must set up those lights. If you’ve hired a single photographer then your whole party must wait, and photography stops, while that happens. If there’s a 2nd setting up lights or shooting family portraits, the flow keeps moving, you and your guests are happier.

4. A different artistic perspective. A 2nd camera is also a 2nd set of eyes. How awesome for you to get two distinct, fresh, artistic views on your wedding. You’ll be delighted by the extra variety and creativity.

Dance - Principal Photographers View

Dance - Principal Photographer's View

Dance - 2nd Photographers View

Dance - 2nd Photographers' View

For surprisingly little money, hiring a 2nd photographer will give brides fuller coverage, a faster pace for group photography and therefore happier guests, distributed risk, and a fresh artistic eye and greater variety in their photography.

The ever increasing value of photography

September 10, 2010 | By | No Comments

I just received news from a bride whose wedding I recently photographed that her father just passed away. In sending my condolences, she shared with me that “… Steve, I must tell you, you captured some of the best moments I have with my father on film. I’m forever grateful to you for that.”

When I tell people that I really love what I do, because I am capturing moments that only become more meaningful and valuable over time, I really mean it.

May your dad rest in Peace Shannon.