Saturday, July 26, 2008

Southern Bride Magazine-Michael Allen Photography

Earlier this month I did a shoot for Southern Bride Magazine in Mobile, on the gulf coast region of Alabama. The location was the Bragg Plantation in Mobile, an 18th century southern mansion located near Mobile Bay in the historic district. I've driven through Mobile many times, and love it when I can shoot in the downtown district. The downtown district is a very scenic, bustling area full of history, great architecture, and full of beauty. When we arrived at the Bragg Mansion, it was an extremely hot day, part of the nice weather we have in the south. When I changed from indoors to outdoors, my lenses would fog over with condensation., that's how humid it was that day. Since we did not have a full day to shoot, I chose to keep most of the shots indoors, and kept the outdoor shots brief. I did not want my models makeup to melt, or have their faces flush with the heat. A good friend of mine, Brian Crain, a fellow photographer for Southern Bride Magazine, lives in New Orleans, and faces the humidity more than most. We've both learned some tricks to help with the humidity, but I know you really just want to see pictures and not hear my stories, so here are a few of the shots. I shot around 1100 photos, but we were on a 4 hour schedule that day, so I normally would shoot more. All of these were shot on my Canon 5d with the 24-105mm IS lens. I did pull out my fisheye lens for some of the detail shots, but mainly stayed with the 24-105. These have not been retouched yet, I'll have a bit of post to do in photoshop. I really liked the first shot you see posted, a trash the dress look.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Pictage Modern Book by Michael Allen

The new "Modern Book" is now available from Michael Allen Photography! You'll love this new modern twist on the coffee table book. Definitely a step up to a great new wedding book that everyone will love to have to showcase their wedding photography! This is probably one of the first out of the lab in California, I'm sure a lot of photographers are waiting in line to get these incredible new books.

While at the WPPI show in Las Vegas I spent some time at the Pictage Conference, and at several of the Pictage educational events. 
I love learning more about my craft,
and take many trips each year to learn
and strive for excellence in my photography.

One of my goals at the recent WPPI (Wedding Portrait Photographers International) was to bring in a new book and album line into my studio for the many weddings that I do each year. There was a sample of the new "Art Book" from Pictage, and I definitely liked it as a new style book for my clients. I also got some information on their new "Modern Book", which is a book style that very nice high end coffee table book.

I just got my studio sample in yesterday, and took 
these photographs for my website package portfolio
last night. You can see by the photos, it is a pretty nice book. I ordered the 12x12 size, and it is something I think brides will like. It is a heavy book, but not too heavy. The quality is very good, and the pages are true photographs bound on a board page. 

The pages are not as heavy as the Sequoia Album, but I think I like it that way, as it seems more like a coffee table book. The dust jacket is a nice feature, and the photo cover is simple and modern. For this sample book, I chose Morgan & Nick's Wedding. I like the flush mount pages, and I'm an avid fan of the Pictage album designer software, which makes it easy to design a book. The turnaround was about 6 weeks, but Pictage is promising a 4 week turnaround, so I was pleased with the delivery time. I've got one more sample book on order, I'll see how fast that one comes in. 

Brides will like this new option for their weddings. The Coffee Table books are nice to have, but this gives them an upgrade to a nicer book without having to have a big heavy wedding album. I usually suggest to brides to get both the Sequoia Album and a coffee table book, now with the ability to order a clone book, this will be a great option. My brides will love the new Modern Book. It's the next level in coffee table books, and for the modern bride, a perfect fit.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Shannon's Maternity Session

Here's a photo from Shannon's maternity session that we did last week. Shannon and Peter got married a couple of years back, and they are beginning their new family with a new baby boy! We did several styles for the session, here is a sample of one of the styles. We had a lot of fun and came up with about 6 totally different sets. I also mixed in several black & white shots, and we did some silhouettes on black and brown backgrounds looked great! Be sure to schedule your session around 6 to 7 months. We also so newborn sessions! I do most of my maternity sessions out of my home studio, so mom's feel a bit more comfortable. I also do sessions right at your home, I shoot lifestyle looks and also bring a couple of backdrops too, all I need is a nice bright window along with one of my large softboxes.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Destination Weddings

In June we went to Perdido Key to shoot a session for Destination Weddings and Southern Bride Magazine. Here are just a few of the shots with Summer and Kris on Perdido Key. We were able to shoot on location at Eden Resort, which is Perdido Key's premier resorts. Special thanks to Keven with Eden Resort for giving us free reign on the resort property. We loved this location for it's incredible tropical landscaping, sand dunes, and remote beaches. Be sure to check back on our website for the full portfolio soon. Thanks to our models Briana, Summer & Kris. Thanks to Morgan Allen Armstrong for helping with the dresses. Additional thanks to the editors and staff at Southern Bride Magazine, Orange Beach Weddings, and Eston Salon, my wife Janice Allen, for the incredible hair and makeup!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Great Output Magazine - Michael Allen Photography-Artefact Studio

Check out this months issue of Great Output Magazine. We got a call from the editor a couple of months ago to talk about our book design & publishing thoughts, and we were happy to offer our input for their article about the newest book publishing offerings for pro's looking for the newest info for printing photo books for our clients and brides, as well as info for all the great and aspiring pro photographers out there in the world today. We offer a great new book line from Artefact Studio, which has a lot more options than books that we've carried before. Our favorite aspect of the new Artefact line is the ability to print on watercolor paper, opaque, glossy, matte and linen.
The professional quality of these books is amazing, we are able to produce high quality photographic books printed on archival paper, with complete design control. The editor's story focuses on several new ways for photographers to print photo books, and we were glad to be a part of their story that will go out to over 20,000+ photographers worldwide.
We do a lot of photography books for a lot of our customers. Not only coffee table books for weddings, but books for our commercial customers as well. There is a huge paradigm shift in the printing world going on, and printing high quality professional books has become very affordable. In the past years it would cost thousands of dollars to print books, and you had to order several hundred copies. Today we can order 1 book, or 20 books. Our staff has the ability to design custom books for our commercial clients, which will take the place of brochures. Now customers can have books made in any size, any quantity, and with reorders at a more affordable price. For our bridal books, can offer really incredible professional books for just a few hundred dollars, and brides can order various sizes of clone miniature books for under $50. We believe that our photography business has now entered the publishing world, and that more and more customers will turn to photographers for the custom book designs. Be sure to log onto Great Output and read the full article!