Libbie Ventiquattro Photography – Timberville, VA

December 9, 2009

Meet Libbie, a wedding photographer who loves capturing the expressions of people, but who really loves landscape photography. She shoots Nikon using her left eye in JPEG mode.

Describe the moment you decided it was time to pursue this as a career?
Before my daughter was born I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life. I had always been someone who took tons of photographs. After her birth I became nuts about scrapbooking and photography, from there I took online classes, joined forums and just couldn’t get enough. In June 2004 I was able to make my dream a reality, shooting my first wedding. From that I have never looked back, and today I have been privilaged to work with so many great people!

18-135mm f/6.3

What is one thing you’ve learned so far that has proven most valuable?
Keeping faith in myself, don’t compare myself to everyone and believe my work is second best, as for those I work with treat everyone as your closest friends., and I will always believe that I am a mommy, wife and then a photographer!

What makes you different from everyone else?
I put my whole heart into my work by being myself.

18-135mm f/8

Who is your one favorite up-and-coming photographer?
There are so many great ones, but I would have to say I love the work of Stacey Rainer.

One item you can’t live without?
I absolutely love my D80, I don’t know how I shot without it!

Your favorite bokeh image?

18-135mm f/5.6

Why did you want to be included on The Bokeh Pot?
I love looking at other photographers work and networking is always a plus. Hopefully I can inspire others with my work to pursue their dreams!

Favorite book?
Honestly I have a couple, One is the Killer Angels and the other is God and Generals. I am a huge Civil War enthusist.

18-135 mm f/5.6

Favorite movie?
I have two that tie for first – Braveheart and Gettysburg.

Where do you find inspiration?
My family is my true inspiration., Without my husband and children I don’t believe I would be where I am now.

18-135mm f/5.6

What do you think is the most valuable aspect of your business?
For me it would be the friendship of clients I have made.

Do you use a second shooter?
There are some sessions that yes I have used a second shooter for such as larger weddings.

18-135mm f/6.3

How would you recommend that someone wanting to second shoot with you go about getting the gig?
For me when I am looking for a second shooter I want to know their inspiration to shoot, what they are looking for in the photography field and of course I want to meet and see their work, I always want to see if the second shooter and I have a good chemistry.

If you could second shoot with anyone, who would it be?
I would love to work with some of the photographers that I have become friends with over the years. – One is Andrea from and Didi from

18-135mm f/10

Are you a member of any organizations and have you won any awards?
I am an active member of a wonderful organization called Americorps and the Ms. Wheelchair Virginia Organization which I am the webmaster and photographer for, as well as Think Pink Photography

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

For me it was more of getting my nerve up enough to do it., I am constantly driving to make my work even better.   I feel like I haven’t jumped through enough yet. There is always something that I am needing to get through.

18-135mm  f/5.6

Do you have suggestions for others trying to make the transition?
Spend as much time as you can online looking through forums, don’t pass up any chances you have to learn!

What is the biggest or most creative thing you do/have done to draw new clients?
I have a lot of clients who have found me through word of mouth, event planners or even my ads through craigslist.  I don’t advertise really otherwise than that., Once my children are big enough, I plan on throwing myself completely into working full time.

Are you for or against advertising (paid or free)?  If for, who have you had the most success with?
I am for both paid and free, the most success I have had is craigslist., the funny thing is the majority of my work has been from there.

18-135mm f/5.6

What’s your idea of the perfect photographer networking “date”?

I would love to do a group “high school senior” session, that way we can learn techniques and new ideas from each other!

Anything else you would like to share?
Thank you for the opportunity to share my work!

18-135mm f/5.6

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Spreading the word for the Spread the Love Tour

November 24, 2009

<a href=””>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

Delirious Photography of Jason Collins – Richmond, VA

July 22, 2009

Meet Jason, a right-eyed Nikon shooter who would someday love to have a multiple photographer company.  He mostly focuses on mucisian promotional and live show photography, but he’s been doing more and more portrait and wedding photography lately.  He shoots mostly JPEG in fully manual mode, and is a fan of basic, but proper, dodging and burning.

JasonCollins Self portrait

Describe the moment you decided it was time to pursue this as a career?
A little over two years ago a few friends started a band and as I started going to more shows I noticed no one was taking photos of their sets. So, I started using my girlfriend’s point and shoot. After a few months of that I started really getting into it and bought my first DSLR, a Nikon D50. Now I’m doing a show or a shoot at least once, if not a few times, a week. I recently upgraded my camera and studio lighting gear! I’m an official geek now.

jason collins 1Nikon D50/ 10mm f/2.8 Fisheye DX – @ f/3.5 – shutter @ 1/2000 – ISO @ 200

What is one thing you’ve learned so far that has proven most valuable?
KEEP IT FUN… and I still enjoy it enough to where it never feels like I’m “working.” Ya know? Also, to rely more on your eye than your camera to do all the work. You can have $5,000 worth of equipment and still not know how to capture the image you’re wanting to get. I’ve always told people, that ask me for advice on doing photography, to just go out and shoot. Play around with settings and lighting, and you’ll start to develop you’re own techniques and you’re on style.

1Nikon d90 / Nikon 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6 – @ f/11, 250iso, 18mm, shutter @ 1/200

What makes you different from everyone else?
I can pretty much pull off any style of photography. Whether it’s something goofy with some studio lighting indoor/ outdoor, or creating something with a more mature, professional look while only using natural lighting. I also try to take a common idea or theme and spin into something more creative and unique.

Who is your one favorite up-and-coming photographer?
Locally, I’d probably have to say this 17 year old high school kid out of Powhatan, VA. His name is Brandon Hambright and is producing great work after great work. Brandon is going to start giving me a run for my money soon! On a bigger level, I’d have to say Gage Young in Orlando, FL. This kid understands lighting on a whole different level than myself and kids his age (20). He also does such a great job with picking on-location spots or making due what a certain situation and making it seem completely planned.

2Nikon d90/ Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 – @ f/10, 250iso, 18mm, shutter @ 1/200
(Alienbee AB8800 into large octabox to group right and high)

One item you can’t live without?
Lens cloths because I hate spots!

Your best bokeh image and why?
I really don’t have a whole lot of amazing bokeh images, but there’s a few that I like with that kind of style. My favorite of those is probably a photo of an All Time Low guitarist on stage. I shot with a 50mm f/1.8 from the back of the crowd. There’s two huge BRIGHT lights behind the guitarist to where he’s in somewhat of a silhouette state and I have the lens focused on him. Everyone in front, with their hands in the air, and a sea of heads, are blurred and hazy. I love it.
Favorite book?
“On The Road” by Jack Kerouac
Favorite movie?
“Stranger Than Fiction”

3Nikon d90/ Nikon 50mm f/1.8 – @ f/1.8, 1000iso, 50mm, shutter @ 1/160

Where do you find inspiration?
Living in downtown Richmond and seeing all aspects of life driving to and from work

What do you think is the most valuable aspect of your business?

Work ethic and trustworthiness. I want to put everything I have into every photo and have the client know that they’re going to receive something they love.

done10.1Nikon d50/ Nikon 10.5mm f/2.8 Fisheye – @ f/13, 400iso, 10.5mm, shutter @ 1/40
(45w slave bulb into umbrella to camera left and right)

Do you use a second shooter?

I have on two weddings. They were friends that wanted to see what it takes to successfully shoot a wedding on their own. I brought them along and showed them that it’s a lot more difficult than just pressing a button for 8 hours!

8Nikon d50/ Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 – @ f/3.5, 400iso, 18mm, shutter @ 1/60

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

Keep practicing, and keep reading up on new techniques or how to do certain things. Take that kind of advice and run with it. Make it your own. Be respectful of guests or others at the event your shooting. Whether it’s a concert or a wedding. You can get a lot of great shots if you just ask politely about something you need to quickly do. I feel like that goes a long way. Another big plus is to be rather outgoing and professional for the clients to have an enjoyable experience. No one likes a shy, creepy photographer, right?

If you could second shoot with anyone, who would it be?
Ryan Russell. The photos he creates while on tour with musicians or just around town with musicians and celebrities are just phenomenal.

4Nikon d90/ Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 – @ f/8.0, 200iso, 18mm, shutter @ 1/160
(Alienbee AB800 into large octabox above camera)

Are you a member of any organizations and have you won any awards?
Unfortunately, no. The closest I’ve come is being asked to participate in Richmond’s “Best of 2008” Photo Show earlier this year in February (2009). Another would probably being asked to use photos by a record label for AP Magazine (a popular music magazine) twice last year. I’m really just starting out and have yet to get the name out there enough.

What did you have to do to actually take the leap?  Did you have any hoops to jump through?
I really was all self-taught. I never gave up, and always tried something different or new. I failed a bunch of times, but I had a better understanding of photography as a whole afterwards. Going out there and meeting other photographers really helped as well. Sharing bits of information and tips I think is very important for someone to grow as a photographer.

6Nikon d90/ Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 – @ f/14, 100iso, 18mm, shutter @ 1/250
(Alienbee AB800 into large octbox on boom to camera right)

Do you have suggestions for others trying to make the transition?
Not trying to sound repetitive, but find an aspect of photography you really enjoy. If you love music and go to a bunch of concerts, go that route! If you love your grandmother’s antique cameras, take a stab at doing some film work with portraits. If you’re wanting to do it to try to make a ton of money, you’ll be disappointed. When it comes to photography, I really feel like practice makes perfect (or as close to it as you can get!)

What is the biggest or most creative thing you do/have done to draw new clients?
Probably a band promotional shoot with Love & Reverie last year. We took an old parachute to a soccer field, haha. Doing something so different, yet so simple, really impressed a lot of people. Everyone that contacts me always says something about how they saw that photo somewhere.

7Nikon d50/ Nikon 10.5mm f/2.8 Fisheye – @ f/2.8, 400iso, 10.5mm, shutter @ 1/80

What’s your idea of the perfect photographer networking “date”?
Getting to discuss certain aspects about photography that some people might not understand or care about. Getting together for “photo adventures” are a lot of fun and that’s where I can get a lot of practice with adjusting to certain lighting situations and what works best.

Anything else you would like to share?
I truly appreciate the opportunity to be on this blog, and to reach out to other photographers! It’s inspiring to see some of the work I’ve seen through this site and I hope some of the work I do and the things I’ve said really helps inspires others, too.

10 jason collinsNikon D50/ 10mm f/2.8 DX – @ f/2.8 – shutter @ 1/13 – ISO @ 600 (0/6 EV)


Kristen Leigh Photography – Gaithersburg, MD

June 3, 2009

Meet Kristen Leigh, a MD, DC, VA wedding photographer who uses her left eye, shoots JPEG in manual mode and when asked if she uses actions, responded, “”She used an Itty Bitty Totally Rad Kubuta aaaaction set, for the first time today” sing with me!”  She shoots “Wide open, emotional and just plain pretty :D”.


Describe the moment you decided it was time to pursue this as a career?
Oh I remember it like yesterday – and it was definitely an exact moment!  I was interested in working in the wedding industry and had even second shot a wedding when I was 14, but for some reason that “theres-no-way-I-can-really-do-this-fear” crept in and I looked at other career options.  It was junior year of highschool, and my dad was driving me home and was like “Kristen, just do it.  Just do photography – you love it, you’re good at it and it’s the perfect job for you.”  So in 2007, when I graduated highschool, I didn’t bop off to college, but instead dove into my little business 😀


What is one thing you’ve learned so far that has proven most valuable?
To ask for help!  There are people out there who are reaaaaally good at things that I am reaaaally not.  And almost everyone has some little tip or advice that I can learn from.  I haven’t had any formal training in photography or business, but I could list person after person who has taken me under their wing and taught me how to actually do this.
And to laaaaugh a lot 😀

What makes you different from everyone else?
I mean, there’s the typical “I’m different because I am me!” answer – which is true, I guess.  But thats like saying “Everyone is special (which means no is)!” haha Duh I am the only “me” there is!  So lets be more specific:  What makes me different from everyone else?  Well, I started my business when I was 17, I am the oldest of 7 kids, I was home-schooled for most of my life, Jim Halpert makes me weak, my mom had breast cancer when I was 14, I love to burst into song and have mini-dancing parties (who cares if you are in Safeway when “Single Ladies” comes on, you gotta daaance!), I played competitive soccer and basketball in highschool, my hair is kind of thin and I am a really bad journaler.

There.  I’m crazy, loud, sappy, laugh-y, people-person-y and my clients “get” that.  I might not be able to list the ABC’s of marketing yourself, but I can certainly have some fun times at my shoots that make some sweeeeet pictures!


Who is your one favorite up-and-coming photographer?
Hands down Lydia Jane.  She’s better then me and also my best friend 😀


One item you can’t live without?
Photography-wise? My good ol’ 50 1.2.  Life-wise?  My GPS.

Your best bokeh image and why?

brookeandnathan-11350mm f/1.2, 1/100 at 1.2, ISO 800

This captures everything I love about “me” as a photographer: a real moment (I love her best friend grabbing her hand on the left), I love their humongo smiles, i love the rose petals swirling around, I love the crisp light – even though it was a dark building, I love the soft, buttery christmas tree lights in the background.  And I dearly love this couple – the groom told me that “Mountain streams lament for her beauty.” Whoa. Hello. That’s adorable.

Favorite book?
I don’t mean this to sound stuck-up, but the Bible really is my favorite book.  I’m not very good at reading, but the Bible – well, I love it.  God is my life and His words are the sweetest things to me!

Favorite movie?
Disney’s Cinderella, no question.  It was my favorite movie growing up and I can recite almost the whole thing.  And even at 3 years old the romance and dreamy-ness of the story captured me.  “So this is loooove. MmmHHmmmMMm.”


Where do you find inspiration?
I think the mystery of love (whoa now, I should right a song or a novel with that title! I didn’t even mean to be deep! haha I’m a natural I guess ;D).  Sorry, anyways, the mystery of love.  I’m a typical, young girl who looks at people in love with wide-eyed wonder and can only imagine what it will be like when it’s my turn.  The smitten little smiles, the sweet gestures, the tears of genuine and simple joy.  The dedication, adoration and faithfulness – well, its all seems to good to be true!  I’m intrigued and every single couple leaves me in awe.  And inspired 😀

What do you think is the most valuable aspect of your business?
My brides!  Is that a stupid answer?  Because seriously my brides are the core and foundation of my business!  They have hired me, recommended me, encouraged me and made me love my job.  Forget workflow, equipment, branding – if I had no brides
it’d be pointless – and really a terrible business haha


Do you use a second shooter?
Psh, yeah man!

How would you recommend that someone wanting to second shoot with you go about getting the gig?
Send me a package filled with money, pretzels, vintage postcards from the fair and a country music CD.  I promise you’d get the gig ;D No, but really, just ask!  I love to second shoot with people and am always looking for new friends.  Beware, I’m a talker. So, yeah, just beware.


If you could second shoot with anyone, who would it be?
My future husband 😀  I love all those husbands who aren’t into photography, but learn so they can spend the weekend with their wives – or vice versa.  I hope my future man will do the same with me.

Are you a member of any organizations and have you won any awards?
I’m on OSP, [b]school, WeddingChicks and WeddingWire – and this year I won Brides Choice on WeddingWire!  I thought it was a prank haha

What did you have to do to actually take the leap?  Did you have any hoops to jump through?
I had to just do it.  I had to be willing to skip college, to take the confused/disapproving remarks, to lay my fears before God and to get my butt up and go for it!  Ruuun like the wind, baby!  I was also blessed with parents who are more supportive then beams on a bridge, and they basically took the money they had saved for my college and got me my Mac and photoshop.  It was so sweet and generous of them, and motivates me to want to save well so I can bless my kids someday.


Do you have suggestions for others trying to make the transition?
I played lots of sports in highschool and one of my favorite phrases was “You’ll  miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” (kind of funny – I missed almost 100% of the shots I did take, but thats not really motivating) and the same thought process applies.  It’s just better to try and fail then to know for the rest of your life you never even gave it a shot. (Get it? hahah like a photography shot? haha).  I think people over-think things and make it more complicated then it needs to be.  Yes, its hard work.  Yes, its a big risk.  Yes, its a serious matter.  But, oh goodness, its amazing fun!

What is the biggest or most creative thing you do/have done to draw new clients?
My YouTube singing videos hahah kidding kidding
Gosh, I don’t know.  The slideshows at the wedding have been awesome, as well as blogging.  A huge thing really has been finding out someone at church is engaged, or seeing someone on facebook with a status change and just being like “Hey, congratulations! Let me know if you’re looking for a photographer!”  Really creative.  Innovative, actually. I’m sure no one’s ever thought of that! haha


What’s your idea of the perfect photographer networking “date”?
Oh goodie.  Let’s see, I would think the perfect photographer network date would be one where I didn’t have to drive (because I always get lost) and when me and my driving-buddy arrived all the photographers there would have great personalities.  And we’d eat amazing food (none of this “oooh, I ate three olives and a ravioli. I’m stuffed!” I like people who really eat!).  Then we’d laugh and laugh and laugh – we’d laugh so hard that someone would fall off their chair, and then everyone one would twitter it, and then we’d photograph it, theeeen help the chair-faller-over-er up.  When I got home, I would get lots of recommendations from these fine photographers. And have lost 10 pounds.  That’s my idea of a perfect networking date!

Anything else you would like to share?
Yes.  The only redeemable thing about snow is sledding.  Just had to get that out there.


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I Photoshop People Tour

March 10, 2009


Check out this great workshop:


Location Date
Kansas City, MO March 11, 2009
St. Louis, MO March 12, 2009
Chicago, IL March 13, 2009
Detroit, MI March 15, 2009
Columbus, OH March 16, 2009
New York, NY March 18, 2009
Philadelphia, PA March 19, 2009
Washington, DC March 20, 2009
Atlanta, GA March 23, 2009
Nashville, TN March 24, 2009
Oklahoma City, OK March 26, 2009
Dallas, TX March 29, 2009
Austin, TX March 31, 2009
San Antonio, TX April 1, 2009
Houston, TX April 2, 2009
Dallas, TX September 28, 2009
Dallas, TX October 26, 2009
Maui, HI November 16, 2009