N-Grace Photography – St. Petersburg, FL

November 17, 2011

Nina sent in her interview in February of this year and between moving, traveling and living in our car for four months, and then having our own wedding celebration to plan, things just got away from us and with best intentions of posting this lovely photographer’s profile months and months and months ago, it unfortunately never happened.  And I am very upset at myself right now for overlooking it for so long!  Please forgive us Nina!

So, without further ado, I present to you Nina Barron, of N~Grace Photography, based in St. Petersburg, Florida.  Nina is the sole owner of her business and focuses on weddings, lifestyle, and portrait photography.  She is a Nikon girl, and shoots manual in not only both JPEG and RAW, but she also often shoots with both eyes open 🙂  She thinks that might be weird, but leave a comment if you also shoot this way!  (I know I can’t keep one eye closed for an entire 8 hour wedding day!  Plus I make really weird grimacing faces when I try to keep one eye closed.)  Her favorite actions are Kubota’s Magic Sharp, and The NEW BW Midbright.




Describe the moment you decided it was time to pursue this as a career?

I’ve always had a passion for photography but in 2009 I took a photography class and was so inspired by the professionals in the class that I decided I too could take my love of photography to another level. So I did, and that is what planted the seed to this idea of creating a business, N~Grace Photography.

24-70mm,  62mm, 200iso, 1/250, f/3.5

What is one thing you’ve learned so far that has proven most valuable?

Be true to yourself.

What makes you as a business person different from everyone else?

Well, what makes anyone different? I think it is my personality. No two people are exactly the same and I’ll admit I can be very shy and soft spoken at times (which in my opinion makes me very different from most photographers because so many of them are very outgoing) however, I am so in love with what I do! I love capturing the essence of real life and real relationships. I want to capture emotional moments – the good, the bad, and the ugly – during portrait sessions sometimes you have the occasional disagreement between husband and wife or parents and children; I like to capture the real, so I may snap a few shots of your unpleasant expressions and hope that you will be able to laugh about it years from now. Everyone has a story and I want to capture it, the way it is told.

35mm, 100iso, 1/125, f/2.2

Who is your one favorite up-and-coming photographer?

Ah man, just one?! Her name is Vida Carson, (http://vidacarson.com/blog) I absolutely adore her photos!

One item you can’t live without?

I’m gonna go with the keys to my car loL

35mm, 100iso, 1/160, f/6.3

Your best bokeh image and why?

He is so adorable isn’t he? I don’t have any real explanation, I just love this picture.

18-55mm, 55mm. 250iso, 1/125, f/5.6

Why did you want to be included on The Bokeh Pot?

What a wonderful website! I think this is such a great community for photographers – to draw inspiration, meet other photographers, and learn some valuable information.

Favorite book?

“Tuesdays With Morrie” by Mitch Albom – You have to just read it for yourself.

50mm, 100iso, 1/200, f/2.5

Favorite movie?

“Love and Basketball” (along with “The Notebook” and “Eat. Pray. Love”)

Favorite songs to work to?

I actually listen to Pandora as I work, on the “Amel Larrieux” station. So calming 🙂

35mm, 200iso, 1/500, f/2.8

Where do you find inspiration?

Blogs, Magazines, but for the most part as I shoot, I am inspired by the relationships shown naturally by the clients.

Aside from yourself, what do you think is the most valuable aspect of your business?

My clients! I know this sounds so cliche but “without you I wouldn’t be where I am today” loL…seriously though, I mean that. The clients I have are the value of my business. They are the ones that support my business and I don’t just mean financially; when I started this business a year ago I was very unsure of how I would be able to succeed and of course I don’t feel that I’ve “succeeded” yet, but they support my work by wanting to be photographed by me and recommending me to others. They show me love by supporting what I do and I am forever grateful.

24mm, 200iso, 1/1250, f/3.2

Do you use a second shooter?

I haven’t yet, I’ve only used assistants thus far.

How would you recommend that someone wanting to second shoot with you go about getting the gig?

Just send me an email (ngracephoto@gmail.com) I’d love to have you as a second shooter!

35mm, 200iso, 1/30, f/2.8

If you could second shoot with anyone, who would it be?

Jasmine Star or Jamie Delaine

 What did you have to do to actually take the leap?  Did you have any hoops to jump through? 

I am still in the process of jumping through hoops. But the first thing I had to do was buy my equipment, which was a jump in itself loL I also talked to established photographers who were successful with their businesses and asked how they got started. Actually, I interned with a local photographer for about 4 or 5 months before I really got started with N~Grace Photography.

24mm, 200iso, 1/1250, f/3.2

Do you have suggestions for others trying to make the transition?

If you want to be a photographer, go out and shoot, learn the basics (aperture, iso, and shutter speed), talk to other photographers, ask questions! HOWEVER, if you want to start a business, remember knowing how to properly take a picture is only half the work. You need to know how to run a successful business! Do your research, ask other small business owners, take a class or two on budgeting, marketing, etc. If this is what you want to do, understand what you need to do but remember to have fun 🙂

What is the biggest or most creative thing you do/have done to draw new clients?

Nothing creative, sad to say. But I did just get this wonderful idea from Brian Jones’ (http://www.idreamimages.com) interview: connecting with my local jewelry store and offer a complementary engagement session every time someone buys an engagement ring! Thanks Brian 🙂

24-70mm, 62mm, 200iso, 1/160, f/3.5

Are you for or against advertising (paid or free)?  If for, who have you had the most success with?

The only advertising I’ve done is post my pictures on my facebook profile, fan page, and website. All of my clients have come from word of mouth, whether it be from someone who is a fan or friend of mine on facebook or someone who has been photographed by me before. So I’m not really against advertising, I just haven’t paid for it.

How do you go about networking with other wedding vendors?

Honestly, I just make sure I take pictures of them – pictures of the DJ in action, pictures of the venue itself, the flowers, cake, etc. I’ll get a card or contact information from each vendor and send or e-mail them pictures from that night with a personal note/greeting attached and my contact information.

24-70mm, 48mm, 200iso, 1/2500, f2.8

What does an overview of your typical work flow look like?

Shoot an event, start the editing process, blog about the event (about a week after the event) posting a few favorite photos, once all the editing is done upload the pictures to a private online gallery, contact the client, send them their products.

How do you stay organized?
My planner!
24-70mm, 70mm, 100iso, 1/800, f3.2
 What’s your idea of the perfect photographer networking “date”?
Getting a bite to eat and talking about our love of photography, life, love, or whatever else comes up! Then going out to shoot! Letting our creative juices flow loL
Anything else you would like to share?
Enjoy yourself 🙂 If photography is what you’d like to pursue, then do it! Have confidence in yourself and your abilities! Oh and by the way, I know most people already know about this site, but in case you don’t Digital Photography School is one of the best resources out there for the “up and coming” photographer!
35mm, 800iso, 1/25, f/1.8

Spreading the word for the Spread the Love Tour

November 24, 2009

<a href=”http://www.justinmarantz.com/”>Justin &amp; Mary Marantz</a> are coming to Charlotte in January for their Spread the Love Workshop and on Black Friday, seats will only be $50!!  After Friday, seats will be $150, so make yourself a reminder to do a little quick shopping online before heading out to shop and wait in hour long lines.

Here’s what they had to say about the workshop:
<em>Spread the Love is not a photography workshop…It’s a LIFE workshop. So you don’t have to be a photographer to attend! Florists, planners, basically anybody who owns their own business can benefit from Spread the Love. In this seminar, we’ll cover everything from marketing, branding, building relationships, business 101, financial health, balancing life &amp; business, creating systems that stick. and so much more. This is the time for a fresh start, and what better way to kick it off than getting inspired to get back to what you love about not only your business, but more importantly…to what you love about your LIFE again? </em>

For each city to remain on the map, at least 50 people will need to sign up for that city, so help them spread the word and invite all your friends to come along!

We’ll be kicking everything off in our own backyard: Beantown, aka Boston on January 5th!

Spread the Love Boston: January 5th
Spread the Love NYC: January 6th
Spread the Love DC: January 7th
Spread the Love Richmond: January 8th

***We’ll be heading to Nashville here to be in town for Imaging/DWF. For any of you guys that are planning on coming to Imaging and can’t make any of the other stops (or just want to come twice!!) we’ve planned the Nashville stop to be the day after the conferences end, just for you!! Well….and all the Nashville people! 🙂

Spread the Love Nashville: January 14th
Spread the Love Charlotte: January 15th
Spread the Love Atlanta: January 18th
Spread the Love Jacksonville: January 19th
Spread the Love Houston: January 22nd
Spread the Love Austin: January 25th
Spread the Love Dallas: January 26th
Spread the Love Phoenix: February 2nd
Spread the Love San Diego: February 4th
Spread the Love LA: February 5th
Spread the Love San Fran: February 8th
Spread the Love Seattle: February 11th
Spread the Love Salt Lake City: February 15th
Spread the Love Denver: February 17th
Spread the Love Kansas City: February 19th
Spread the Love Chicago: February 22nd

***We’ll be taking a break here to get ready for WPPI 2010 where we will be speaking for the very first time! Bleh….I feel like throwing up already!! 🙂 🙂 And then we will wrap up the tour after WPPI with our Maine stop, when hopefully it will be a little warmer up that way!

Spread the Love Maine: March 24th

Amanda Suanne Photography – Santa Rosa Beach, FL

June 17, 2009

Meet Amanda, a right-eyed Canon shooter (but whose first camera was Nikon) who focuses mainly on weddings, but does a bit of portrait work as well.  Amanda’s team consists of a fairly new assistant, as well as her husband who does all the album and graphic design.

mailgooglecomPhoto by Jamie Delaine


Describe the moment you decided it was time to pursue this as a career?
Getting married was the most amazing day of my entire life. I remember how everything looked and how my heart fluttered when I saw my husband for the first time. I remember distinctly feeling like we were the only two people in the whole world, and that I wanted every moment to last forever. It was so much fun having all the people I loved there and getting to celebrate our love was so priceless. At that moment I knew I had fallen in love with weddings. I worked at a Church for a year, and during that time, I began shooting on the side, just for fun really, and soon I started getting calls and emails from people wanting to hire me. At first I couldn’t believe it, but my husband gently held my hand and encouraged me to follow my dreams. Very quickly, I started getting more
business than I had time for, so I decided to take the leap and pursue photography full time. I definitely owe all of my success and opportunities so far to God, and I am thankful that I get to wake up every day and do something that I truly love.

What is one thing you’ve learned so far that has proven most valuable?
I think I would say something important I have learned is to not over do it. When I first started shooting, I shot extreme angels, and heavily processed my images. Over time, I discovered that simplicity and precision is the best thing that an image can have.

What makes you different from everyone else?
What I would say makes me different from everyone else is my perspective. Everyone has different background and gone through different experiences, and I think all of these things help create and mold my photography style and outlook on life + love. I am definitely a hopeless romantic and try to capture emotion in a way that is eye catching and fresh.

Who is your one favorite up-and-coming photographer?
My friend Braeden Rogers with ambeint11.com. He is awesome. I think he was just featured, go brae!

One item you can’t live without?
Hmmmm, can I say my husband even though he is not an item? He is what inspires me, encourages me and makes me happy!!!  I guess my 24 2.8 would be the one piece of equipment I could not live with out. It is my favorite lens for some reason, and it has helped define my style.

Your best bokeh image and why?
This is my favorite Bokeh image. It makes me smile.

Favorite book?
I love to read, so it is so hard to narrow it down to one book, but I would have to say Redeeming Love written by Francine Rivers.

Favorite movie?
I love going to the movies so my favorite changes weekly…. my most recent favorite movie is Confessions of a Shopaholic. I am sucker for chick flicks.

Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration all around!! Whether it is a painting, a spread in a fashion magazine, or a movie. I am constantly getting inspired from just living life!

What do you think is the most valuable aspect of your business?
I think the most valuable aspect of my business if my relationship with my clients. I get to know each couple and try to capture their personality and what is important to them.

If you could second shoot with anyone, who would it be?
Probably Elizabeth Messina. She inspires me in so many ways.

Are you a member of any organizations and have you won any awards?
I am a member of Professional Photographers of America.

What did you have to do to actually take the leap?  Did you have any hoops to jump through?
I think everyone starting out has hoops to jump through and lessons to learn, but overall, it is what makes us better photographers. I think the biggest hoop I had to go through was believing in myself and following my dreams even though it seemed scary. It is always scary to take the dive, but is has been totally worth it!

Do you have suggestions for others trying to make the transition?
Learn all you can and never give up on your dream!!


***Enjoy this feature?  Leave a comment to let us know!***

Studio 222 Photography – Orlando, FL

June 6, 2009

Meet Becka and Nate.  This team shoots distinctively modern weddings and portraiture using Canon.  They shoot RAW using their right eyes, most of the time in manual mode, but occassionally in AV.  They use some TRA and Kubota actions, and also a few of their own.




Describe the moment you decided it was time to pursue this as a career?
Nate and I have both always been artists. I painted and did digital media in high school. He went to school for business and digital media and we actually met because we were both in a band together in college. We both enjoyed photography as a hobby but had never really considered it as a career. We started our business doing portraiture. After shooting a friend’s wedding, we decided that we really enjoyed shooting weddings together so we created a website and started spreading the word. In the first year we won a spot as one of the top 5 best wedding photographers in our area, booked about 20 weddings, were accepted into a group called Modern Photographers, and relaunched a new website. All of those things combined helped us realize, “We’ve really got something that’s working here!”

studio222_1324-105mm, 28mm, ISO 1000, 1/400, f/4

What is one thing you’ve learned so far that has proven most valuable?
We suffered with multiple style personality in the beginning. We were both shooting our own individual styles, our editing was not consistent, and we didn’t have a goal that we were shooting towards. A few months before we relaunched the website, we sat down and talked about who we wanted as clients, what style we wanted as our own, and what words we wanted people to use to describe us. That focus helped us more than anything else! Our style came together, our consistency improved, and everyone started noticing and commenting right away. We were so excited, it was like we finally found our groove together.

studio222_324-105mm, 24mm, ISO 250, 1/500, f/4

What makes you different from everyone else?
We are young, in love, pretty goofy, a little sarcastic, and are very non-traditional both in our shooting style and our business mentality. We shoot a lot of super-wide shots and are always looking to incorporate epic clouds or scenery. We do most of our marketing on facebook and on our blog, and we refuse to go to bridal shows. We’re not into that kind of chaos. 😉

studio222_224mm, ISO 200, 1/2500, f/2.8

Who is your one favorite up-and-coming photographer?
Becka: Nate!
Nate: Me! 😉  Ok, if I have to pick someone else… Becka

One item you can’t live without?
Our iPhones, this was a unanimous decision.

Your best bokeh image and why?

studio222_1bokeh135mm, ISO 100, 1/125, f/10

We really love this ring shot taken by Nate. Not only is the ceremony site reflected in the band but the colors and lines blurred in the background are just so peaceful and beautiful.

Favorite book?
We both got a kick out of “I Am America And So Can You” but you have to listen to it as an audio book because Steven Colbert is a HILARIOUS narrator!

Favorite movie?
Love Actually

studio222_1011-16mm, 11mm, ISO 100, 1/500, f/5.6

Where do you find inspiration?
From our client’s personal stories, from our own lives, from other photographers who we admire, from magazines and from the beauty of nature (we especially love big skies).

What do you think is the most valuable aspect of your business?
Us as a duo. Anyone can buy a nice camera. Anyone can build a nice website. But we are the only “us” and that is the most valuable thing we’ve got going on.

studio222_511-16mm, 11mm, ISO 400, 1/60, f/2.8

Do you use a second shooter?
We are each other’s second shooter. For bigger weddings we bring our assistant, Matt, to help out. (He rocks!)

How would you recommend that someone wanting to second shoot with you go about getting the gig?
There’s a button in the sidebar of our blog where anyone can apply. Other photographers who just want to hang out with us for a day at a wedding can email us directly.

studio222_924-105mm, 24mm, ISO 320, 1/320, f/4.5

If you could second shoot with anyone, who would it be?
Becka: Jasmine Star, Ohana, the McLellans, Bobby Earle…
Nate: Nathan & Jensey Root

Are you a member of any organizations and have you won any awards?
We’re members of Modern Photographers and we’ll be joining WPPI this year. We won the title of one of the top 5 best photographers in Orlando for 2008. And were published as a Top Knots finalist in PDN magazine.

studio222_624mm, ISO 200, 1/80, f/1.4

What did you have to do to actually take the leap?  Did you have any hoops to jump through?
Nate works the business part time, while I do it full time. Eventually we will both be doing this full time but that will just take some building. We think the hoops everyone has to jump through are just those of getting your name out there in the beginning. We are trying to find the balance of continuing to get our name out there but still charging what we’re worth.

studio222_1228-75mm, 25mm, ISO 400, 1/200, f/5

Do you have suggestions for others trying to make the transition?
Be confident in your worth. Learn all the numbers of your business. Figure out what you need to do to make it work and start taking steps toward that goal today. Oh…and listen to those who are where you want to be, but take it all with a grain of salt. Be guided but don’t let their ideas run your business.

studio222_424mm, ISO 320, 1/200, f/1.4

What is the biggest or most creative thing you do/have done to draw new clients?
When we relaunched our website with all our new branding and new images we promoted the heck out it. We contacted a bunch of fabulous Etsy artists who were gracious enough to donate items from their shops and we hosted a week of giveaways on our blog. We got a lot of attention from that and so did the Etsy artists. It was a great collaboration!  (Thanks Etsy friends!)

studio222_824-105mm, 24mm, ISO 1000, 1/4000, f/4

What’s your idea of the perfect photographer networking “date”?
Coffee and dessert somewhere yummy like Cheesecake factory where we can bond over how delicious the chocolate cake is. 🙂

Anything else you would like to share?
Nate loves video games. Becka is a vegetarian. We both really love nachos, red wine, and cheeses. Nate has a ridiculous tolerance for spicy food. Becka loves Anthropologie. We love meeting photographer friends, so if you’re coming through Florida, give us a call!

studio222_724mm, ISO 640, 1/60, f/4

AsukaBook Free Seminar

April 14, 2009

AsukaBook sponsors the following photographers’ events throughout the year.  Below is the latest schedule of their events where you are able to learn more about AsukaBook products and possible win a free book of your own design!

For more information visit http://asukabook.com/home_events.html

April 21, 2009 and April 22, 2009  Boston, MA  Area Seminar

April 23, 2009 Brooklyn, NY Seminar

April 24, 2009 Manhattan, NY Seminar

April 25, 2009 Philadelphia, PA Seminar

April 27, 2009 Baltimore, MD Seminar

April 28, 2009 Charlotte, NC Seminar

April 29, 2009 Atlanta, GA Seminar

May 1, 2009 Orlando, FL Seminar

Amanda McMahon Photography – Titusville, FL

January 28, 2009

Meet Amanda McMahon.  Amanda lives in Titusville, FL but she shoots weddings and portraits across the state.  She started out using Canon equipment and hasn’t found a need to switch.  She’s a right-eyed shooter.


Describe the moment you decided it was time to pursue this as a career?
I went to school for photography and just graduated in December 2007. I have seen so many others make a career out of it and become successful, so I knew it was possible. I knew I had the drive and ambition to make it work and I know that it can be hard. I have a good sense of motivation and I knew I could make it work. It’s a process for sure, but really…it’s the only thing I wanted from the get go and I knew I had to be able to do this everyday.


What is one thing you’ve learned so far that has proven most valuable?
To create relationships before handing your card over. People want to know who you are and why you do what you do, not just see your business card and off they go.  I think it’s important to really build a friendship or at least start a relationship with them so they really have a sense of who you are. If they like you for you, then they will feel more comfortable with you and why you do things the way you do them. I am a people person so this is easier for me to do, but for some people, this is their biggest obstacle.


What makes you different from everyone else?
I think what makes me different is the fact that I can really relate to people. I understand them and want to be friends. I want their business of course, but truly, I do want to be friends. I want to be able to email and say hello and not have anything business related to that in the email. I love people and I love the emotions that people go through….and I want to be a part of them regardless of business or not.

Who is your one favorite up-and-coming photographer?
hmmm, I can’t say that I have one. To be honest, I try to learn as much as possible but usually, I dont recognize names…or I just don’t remember. It’s a terrible thing not to remember the name of a photographer whose work you liked….but I am working on that part of my memory 🙂


One item you can’t live without?
My 50mm 1.4 lens. I use it at every single shoot and I love it!

Your best bokeh image and why?
I think this would be my favorite currently. I just love the look of it!

Favorite book?
Currently, I have a few, but one of them is The Lucky One that just came out by Nicholas Sparks. It really makes you appreciate life and love in a whole different way.

Favorite movie?
This is a tough one, but I would have to say that I have two and they are polar opposites. I love A Walk To Remember and I also love Big Daddy (with Adam Sandler).


Where do you find inspiration?
I read a lot of magazines, look at a lot of work, somedays I just walk outside. Inspiration is everywhere, it’s whether or not you really take time to notice it and really grab it.


What do you think is the most valuable aspect of your business?
The fact that I am always trying something works for me. And that I am a people person. Sometimes you will find many photographers who really aren’t, they shoot great work but they aren’t the most comfortable to be around and I think that’s a downfall for them.

If you could second shoot with anyone, who would it be?
That’s a really tough question, because there are SO many, but one that really sticks out in my mind is Parker Pfister.


Are you a member of any organizations and have you won any awards?
I am a member of FPP, PPA and a local chapter called APPA currently. I haven’t really put myself in a position to win an award just yet.

What did you have to do to actually take the leap?  Did you have any hoops to jump through?
Well, after college….I put some things together for myself and really just took a leap of faith and went into business alone. I had assisted and second shot for other photographers, and still do….but really branching out on my own was scary and doing it all on your own was even more scary.


Do you have suggestions for others trying to make the transition?
You really just have to have faith, believe in yourself, and have support from others. Without those, you are much more susceptible for failure.


What is the biggest or most creative thing you do/have done to draw new clients?
I am working on something new right now actually, but doing a bridal show is a big help. Really setting yourself apart is what gets them. It’s something they haven’t seen before so automatically they are attracted to you, even if they don’t particularly like it.