Stacy Bizjak Photography: Blog en-us (C) Stacy Bizjak Photography [email protected] (Stacy Bizjak Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:53:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:53:00 GMT Stacy Bizjak Photography: Blog 92 120 Random NOLA Images

[email protected] (Stacy Bizjak Photography) Tue, 24 Nov 2015 15:19:00 GMT
Branding Yourself in Photography
I am finding that you can't just be a jack-of-all trades photographer.  There are literally thousands of those in your immediate and surrounding areas.  To try to make it in a market that is oversaturated with so many photographers marketing their business with the same basic photography services it will be hard to be noticed.  There is nothing there to make you stand out.  No niche to grab the attention of potential customers.  You have to have something that sets you apart from the others.  Although I haven't exactly established a niche per se, I do have specific preferences for the types of images I prefer to capture.  I don't do photo shoots in a studio.  Now, that's not to say that at some point in my life I won't do them, but that is not my preference.  Because my business emphasizes the Gulf Coast culture and lifestyle I find it is fitting for my images to be captured outdoors.  Lakes, parks, private property, the customer's backyard if they prefer, beaches, sunrises, sunsets.  Small outdoors weddings and gatherings... parties...private events... sporting events... engagement photos...couples' photos...just to name a few. I absolutely love using what nature offers us as my backdrop and creating a moment with outdoor surroundings.  Sometimes the least likely places end up being my favorites.  There are several locations in downtown Mobile that I have my eye on for urban style photo shoots.  I plan on making that happen in the not too distant future.  So many locations to choose from.  I don't want to fall into routine, typical locations where nearly every photographer in the Mobile area lands for their shoots.  I want to think outside the box and capture unique moments.

I do have a love for black and white images.  Sure, I take some amazing photos in color, but there are certain situations where black and white could highlight the moment so much better and give a totally different feel to the photo.

Although I haven't completely narrowed down my market to carve my niche in the photography world, I am working my way there one image at a time...  Until then, I'll continue my journey of capturing life's special moments and creating lasting memories for years to come...

[email protected] (Stacy Bizjak Photography) Mon, 23 Nov 2015 18:49:00 GMT
Adidas Commercial In New Orleans

[email protected] (Stacy Bizjak Photography) Sun, 22 Nov 2015 17:26:00 GMT
Shades of NOLA... The trend continues...

[email protected] (Stacy Bizjak Photography) Thu, 19 Nov 2015 16:40:00 GMT
More from New Orleans...

[email protected] (Stacy Bizjak Photography) Wed, 18 Nov 2015 18:58:00 GMT
New Orleans - So much to see and do...

[email protected] (Stacy Bizjak Photography) Tue, 17 Nov 2015 18:30:00 GMT
A few images from a photo shoot at the Japanese Gardens in Mobile, Alabama today...

[email protected] (Stacy Bizjak Photography) Sun, 15 Nov 2015 17:20:00 GMT
New Orleans Street Scenes and Beyond

[email protected] (Stacy Bizjak Photography) Sun, 15 Nov 2015 04:07:00 GMT
Street Scenes - Outside a New Orleans Cafe
[email protected] (Stacy Bizjak Photography) Sat, 14 Nov 2015 17:05:00 GMT
Homeless in New Orleans - A sad reality~
Bourbon Street was exactly as I expected it would be.  I didn't expect it to be packed and full of life on a Thursday evening, but it was a great experience overall.  It was an amazing opportunity to sit back and watch people having a good time.

Although I knew that New Orleans was plagued with homelessness, I guess I didn't expect to see it laid out in front of me at nearly every turn.  When I first entered the outskirts of the French Quarter, I was quite frankly caught off guard at the number of people sleeping in covered parking lots... in the back of trucks, in sleeping bags, on mattresses and on the concrete.  Not just one or two people, but MANY.  We take for granted in our everyday lives that these things can never happen to us.  Who knows what circumstances or even one really bad circumstance led to these people ending up in the situation that they are in now?  It just takes one catastrophic event in our lives to end up in the same situation.

I guess the most disturbing thing to me took place just a block from my hotel.  As my husband and I were heading down to the French Market, as most tourists do, there was a man sleeping on the sidewalk, in broad daylight, while the city came to life and everyone was bustling by.  Most didn't give him a second glance.  How does a country that is so powerful and wealthy have homeless people?  How do we help other countries with their financial burdens and their crises when we can't even take care of our own?

Be thankful for all that you have in your lives, and if you ever find that you have old items you don't need, please think of donating within your local community to the organizations that give directly to the homeless, thus ensuring that the items go to those who are most in need.

[email protected] (Stacy Bizjak Photography) Fri, 13 Nov 2015 19:51:00 GMT
Walk to End Alzheimer's - Mobile, Alabama - November 7, 2015
I am posting a few photos from Saturday's event.  Photographing these type of events allows me to do my part in bringing awareness to the cause by donating my services to cover the event and sharing the story with you.

The event may be over, but the fundraising continues.  You can donate at the following link:

Donate to the Walk to End Alzheimer's

[email protected] (Stacy Bizjak Photography) Mon, 09 Nov 2015 20:20:00 GMT
Photo Editing Tip of the Day... Learn from my mistake!!!
I had planned to post about the charity event and share photos on my blog entry, but that will have to wait a bit longer.  Once I get back on a level playing field I will share some of the details of the event and share some photos.

Until then...]]>
[email protected] (Stacy Bizjak Photography) Mon, 09 Nov 2015 17:23:00 GMT
Water Under The Bridge.... Literally....
You probably are thinking... what in the world does this have to do with photography???  Well, there is where you get to be creative.  For example, that river runoff, under a bridge, where the mullet apparently like corn on hook at the end of a cane pole.... that's where I first learned to slow the flow of water and create some pretty incredible images of a less than incredible place.  It will forever be the best set of pictures I have ever taken, in my mind, because it was when I first became aware of how camera speed truly impacts movement, and if you do things just right then things look pretty amazing.  Now, in reality, they won't be the best pictures in the world... of this I am certain... however, to me they are special because I learned some valuable lessons that day when I went there to fish and, well, the fish weren't there to eat.

Below are 3 pictures, taken with my camera phone, on one of our fishing expeditions.  Now, keep in mind, this is true back roads fishing.  Not where the average person heads to fish, but it's pretty close to home and, for the most part, a great little location when you just want to unwind at the end of the day and don't have a lot of daylight left to fish in.  At any rate, these 3 pictures give you an idea of what type of environment this is and how just uninviting and unappealing it is, on first glance.

Now, let's fast forward to the creativity part of this blog post and how you can turn something not so exciting into something pretty awesome in the photography world.  These pictures give you an indication of the setting we were in and just how unappealing it truly is.  Well, even the most seemingly unappealing places to photograph do offer a glimmer of hope under the right conditions.

I was in search of a location to practice slowing the flow of water and looking for something along the lines of a waterfall.  Well, in my recollection of this area, there were no waterfalls that I had seen or heard of.  Then I remembered our little fishing spot and how I had seen water flowing from one level to another, over some rocks, creating somewhat of a waterfall effect.  Throw in a few rainy days, high water levels in the rivers and just like that you have a waterfall effect.

By being creative and using a little imagination something that was nothing spectacular at first glance became something so much better under the right conditions.  Sometimes you just have to think outside of the box to get the shots you are looking for.

[email protected] (Stacy Bizjak Photography) Mon, 02 Nov 2015 18:41:00 GMT
Sunsets on Mobile Bay

[email protected] (Stacy Bizjak Photography) Mon, 02 Nov 2015 03:40:00 GMT
Photoshop, Lightroom and Post Processing...
Post processing in landscape images, street scenes and anything that is not related to taking images of people is an entirely different story.  I absolutely believe that the use of Photoshop, Lightroom and other like programs is an amazing tool to express your creativity.  Anyone can take a picture of a sunrise or a sunset, a field of flowers, a waterfall, but use one of the post processing programs and the results can be absolutely stunning.  These programs allow you to put your own artistic spin on an image and leave the viewer in awe.  This is a huge plus and I can say with 100% honesty that each image I take has been retouched in one way or the other with the use of Lightroom.  Some more than others.  Actual photographs of people are touched up just for minor lighting issues mainly and to add that "pop" effect to the subject by adjusting their background.  This in my opinion is an important step in the process to get the customer products that they are happy with.

Below are some before and after images... you be the judge~ In the before and after images you can see that the subject is more brightly lit, cropped in more closely so that his face is more of the focus and not the overall picture.  The image is much better post processed and a better end result.

And this before and after... Again, the lighting of the subject in the image on the right is brighter and more focused on him.

And finally... images where you can let your creativity fly... turning ordinary into extraordinary....  

[email protected] (Stacy Bizjak Photography) Wed, 28 Oct 2015 18:22:00 GMT
New and Improved Website... .  New pricing options are now available, just in time for the holidays!

[email protected] (Stacy Bizjak Photography) Sun, 25 Oct 2015 18:58:00 GMT
A few more night shots...

[email protected] (Stacy Bizjak Photography) Fri, 23 Oct 2015 16:30:00 GMT
Long Exposure Night Photography

[email protected] (Stacy Bizjak Photography) Sat, 17 Oct 2015 20:11:00 GMT
Black and White - The More Forgiving Option~
1)  No two situations are the same and you have to make adjustments to your settings based on the current situation, whether in the same lighting situation or not.
2)  Shooting sporting events at night under artificial lights is not an ideal situation for less experienced photographers.  Although I am nearly convinced that this isn't ideal for any photographer, but those with a broader knowledge base and very expensive equipment might be able to master it a bit better.
3)  As mentioned in previous posts... photography is a lifelong learning experience.  Each day I will learn something new, and will continue to learn new things, as long as my mind remains open to new ideas, new adventures and new situations.

So, let's go over some of the photos that I took at a local USA Jags football game a few days ago.  Looking through the viewfinder I had a clear, crisp image with people and objects in focus.  Looking at the small screen on the back of the camera confirmed what I saw, and I thought... wow, these photos are going to be great!  Now, let's think about this for a minute....Sure, things look great on a 3.5 inch screen, but in reality when you put them on a 22 inch monitor and dive into your photo editing software it's a whole different ball game.  Things that were crammed into view on that tiny little screen have now become a harsh reality that things just aren't that great.  Actually, not even good.  Grainy, poorly focused, harshly lit pictures are what the reality on the editing screen reveals.  Faces and white objects were too brightly lit.  Adjusting the contrast and clarity did nothing to make me feel better about the images.  Highlights, shadows, exposure... same feelings.  This is where changing the photos to black and white and starting from a new angle on things comes in.  Now, I won't even pretend to think that the black and white images that I posted below are great.  Stating they are good would even be a stretch.  But, when faced with some of the poor lighting situations that can be encountered when shooting in different sources of light, sometimes you choose the lesser of the evils and are content with the better shot.  Black and white photography, in my opinion, is very forgiving and can make a bold statement in your photos, even turning those that are less than great into something you can be happier with.

I will continue my journey, absorbing every bit of information that I can, learning something new each day, learning from my mistakes and working toward being the professional photographer that I aspire to be.  In the meantime, the photos below are posted for supporting evidence that all lights are not created equal, and that black and white photography sometimes can salvage something from images that appeared to be discards.

[email protected] (Stacy Bizjak Photography) Fri, 16 Oct 2015 17:23:00 GMT
Visit to Fort Benning

[email protected] (Stacy Bizjak Photography) Mon, 12 Oct 2015 17:25:00 GMT
Low Light and Nighttime Outdoor Event Lessons at the Ten Sixty Five Music Festival....
So, what does this have to do with low lighting?  You see, this would be the first time I had attempted to take photographs of an outdoor event such as this.  There was such a huge mixture of different types of lighting that it nearly through me into a tailspin.  First and foremost, I didn't have my tripod with me, which was poor planning.  Because I was very far away from the stage, I should have had the foresight to realize that a tripod with a zoom lens at night is a must.  Now, considering that there was a huge crowd of people at the Three Days Grace concert, with heavy foot traffic anywhere near the event, shooting with a tripod was not going to be an option for having a chance of getting a halfway decent picture.  Not only did I have the challenges of distance, no tripod and a zoom lens while holding my camera in a crowd, but I had so many different light angles, and many bright and colorful spotlights coming from the stage that I feared it would be impossible to come home with even one decent picture out of the HUNDREDS that I took.  It was a very frustrating experience, but I was determined to continue pushing ahead and trying many different settings until I got it right.  Every time I thought that I had it figured out I was knocked back down to reality.  I tried bumping up the ISO... blurry.  Distorted lights.  Tried changing aperture, camera speed and ISO.  Same thing.  Even tried full automatic to see if the camera was smarter than me... not so much.  Then, I tried the FLASH OFF mode on my Canon.  Tinkered with a few settings and to my surprise, although not perfect, I did manage to get a few decent pictures that I was actually pretty proud of considering the odds stacked against me.  Quite honestly, based on my set of circumstances and the poor conditions I placed myself in, I really didn't expect to get any redeemable photos at the end of the evening.

So, my learning journey continues.  Every day in photography is a learning experience.  Every situation is different, and the same rules that applied to that shoot may not apply to my next outdoors nighttime event because everything will not be the same.  I am an information seeker, and I don't give up until I figure things out.  There are hundreds of thousands of resources, both written and video, available to me, and I make sure I utilize some of them each and every day to help grow into the photographer that I want to become.

Now... to end this posting... I will share the final product and some of my photos from the Three Days Grace concert.  Nowhere near perfection, but considering the circumstances I am pretty darn pleased with how things turned out!  :)

[email protected] (Stacy Bizjak Photography) Tue, 06 Oct 2015 14:03:00 GMT
Scott Kelby Worldwide PhotoWalk

[email protected] (Stacy Bizjak Photography) Tue, 06 Oct 2015 07:07:00 GMT
Rain kissed rose... ]]> [email protected] (Stacy Bizjak Photography) Sat, 03 Oct 2015 02:36:00 GMT Charity Event
Photos from a recent charity event can be viewed by clicking the link below.  A lot of fun... great event photography practice, and free photos for the charity.  It was a win-win all around~

Click Here For Charity Event Photos!!!

[email protected] (Stacy Bizjak Photography) Fri, 02 Oct 2015 15:58:00 GMT
A beautiful day...
[email protected] (Stacy Bizjak Photography) Fri, 02 Oct 2015 03:57:00 GMT