Archives for Families

Be Different or Die

Back in the “good ol’ days” of photography, all you really needed was a nice medium-format camera and a few business cards.  That pretty much set you apart from the parents with cameras.  My oh my, how things have changed!  The camera no longer sets you apart from your clients.  Heck, some of my clients have more expensive cameras than even I use.  Believe me, it isn’t about the camera. It isn’t about the canvas either.  In the past, only professional photographers could get something printed on canvas.  Now you can get it done at 100 different places online.  The products no longer set you apart from your clients. What is left is the image.  This is the one area where you can still set yourself apart from the common person with a camera.  They might have a nice DSLR, but they don’t know how to pose or control light.  That is the big problem that will soon face all the people who don’t know lighting and posing – and just call it “photojournalism.”  Unfortunately, photojournalism isn’t a fancy word for sloppy.  Once all the parents figure out they can take these unposed, snapshot-photos themselves, that is exactly what they
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A Visit From Santa

Every year, we are lucky enough to get Santa to pay a special visit to Lourcey Photography.  Oh sure, there are 100 places you can go see Santa this time of year… the mall, a photography studio, the North Pole – however, our visit is somewhat different. As a thank you for our portrait clients, we invite them to bring their family to the event and get pictures taken with Santa at absolutely no cost.  We even send them free copies of the prints!  That is it – no secrets, no strings attached.  It is so simple, it confuses people – they keep trying to figure out how to order something! Everyone loves seeing Santa- even the adults. If you spent time waiting in line for Santa at the mall this year, I hope you will stop by Plano next year for a more relaxing visit.  We can all use a little Santa cheer in our lives.
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Back From Disney

I just returned from spending a week at Disney World with the family.  While I was there, two things really stood out to me. First off was my amazement at the brand Disney has built.  It really is unlike any other theme park in the world – from the rides to the the employees – there are so many small details, it is impossible to soak it all in.  If you can get past the fact that it gets pretty expensive, you can really get lost in the atmosphere of the place.  Being there during the holidays was cool too – because we got to see holiday decor that went a bit beyond the Griswalds (see the castle above). The second thing is the side effect of all that Magic…. people.  Lots of them.  Lots.  We were there the week after Thanksgiving, when most schools were in session – so you would think there would be a big drop off in attendance, right?  Not so much.  A 15 minute ride on the Disney shuttle will sap the magic right out of you.  (Do these folks look happy?) . Now, don’t get me wrong – it is still a fantastic place. 
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Personal Portrait

During last year’s 40@Forty Project, I decided to create a portrait of my darling wife, Heather. Of course, the bar was really high for this one. I kept coming up with concepts, then eliminating them because I didn’t think they would be good enough. If finally decided to do something in the style of one of my favorite artists, Pino Daeni. What I love about Pino’s work is that he would take very ordinary scenes and elevate them to extraordinary with his amazing color and brushstrokes. It was a scary undertaking, but I figured I would give it a shot. I started with with a very simple setup – Heather standing at her vanity putting on an earring. There was nothing extra spectacular about the setup or the lighting – in fact, her back is to the camera and you can only see her face in the mirror. I started adding color, then applied lots of very loose brushwork. I finally ended up with a portrait I really liked… Back several years ago – when I started trying to earn my Master Photographer degree from PPofA, I decided I would try to get a merit with every member of my
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The Photographer’s Experience

Buying camera equipment is always a love/hate thing with photographers. A friend recently sent me this great article on the whole photography buying cycle. Enjoy! http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2010/05/letter-to-george.html
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Preparing Your Child For A Portrait Session

After putting it off for months and months, you’ve finally scheduled your child for a portrait session with a local photographer. What now? Believe it or not, the things you do BEFORE the session can have a huge impact on the results of the session itself. As a professional portrait photographer for over 14 years, I’ve seen it all – from very well-behaved kids to wild, crazy, out-of-control kids. The biggest problems, however, were usually caused by things that had nothing to do with the kid. Coaching Whatever you do, resist the urge to coach your child before the session. Working with them on their smile is just about the worst thing you can do. Chances are, your child already knows how to smile. By trying to teach them how to do it on command, you are increasing your odds of getting a really fake expression in the portrait. A good photographer knows how to get expressions out of kids – by interacting with them and making them laugh. If the child says “CHEEEEEEZE” every time I step behind the camera, I know I’m in for a long session. Haircuts Another popular strategy is to take your child in for
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The Blizzard of 2010

Wow- what a weekend! Without question, that had to be one of the best snows in recent Dallas history? Now for those of you up north, it probably doesn’t sound like much – but here in Texas, anything more than an inch of snow is pretty much a bona-fide blizzard. We got somewhere around 6-8 inches here in Plano and it was truly an amazing sight. I finally got around to posting some of the images of the Lourcey’s playing in the snow- enjoy! Snow-covered lawn. The winter wonderland backyard. I loved this shot of Beau working on a snowman as the snow was falling. Heather and Beau with the snowman base. Posing with the completed snowman- complete with a straw cowboy hat!
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Grand Opening

Last night was the opening reception for my exhibit at the Courtyard Theater in Plano.  It is such a spectacular venue!It was quite a thrill to see so much of my work on the walls in one place.  They layout also allowed us to group the work into similar pieces – giving it a nice flow.  For me, the highlight of the night was unveiling everyone’s new portraits and getting to see their expressions.  If you missed the reception, I hope you will find the time to swing by the exhibit over the next few months.  The work will hang through April at the Courtyard Theater in historic downtown Plano.    
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The Hunt Is On!

We had a great time this weekend at our second Scavenger Hunt.  Couples donated $200 to Westwood to get invited to this party – so we had to make sure it was an evening they wouldn’t forget! Here are a few of the highlights from the evening: Team Red Team Orange Team Blue Team Pink and the eventual champions…. Team Camo Many, many thanks to the Smiths for hosting the party at their home.  Everyone had a great time and -best of all- we have plenty of incriminating photos of everyone involved!
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Timeless Bond

Photographing babies can be an adventure.  Even the best babies have bad days – and they usually happen at the worst possible time.    The gameplan is usually to just relax and go with the flow – since even the most stubborn babies will generally relax after a while. This week, I had the chance to photograph the ultimate newborn!  Although he was only a few weeks old, he was a pretty big dude.  Best of all – he was a photographer’s dream!  He was about as laid-back as a baby could be and he had wonderful facial expressions. I’m posting one of the images of baby and Dad.  I cropped the image tightly and did some post-processing to give it a weathered/antique look.  I was thrilled with the final image. My goal was to illustrate the bond between this father and his son.  A good portrait should go beyond simply showing what people look like and I hope I accomplished that with this shot.
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