In 2010 I had the opportunity to photograph Neil Young for a publication known as The Horn’s, He called me up around 5pm and asked if I was free to shoot something. I said, “Yeah sure, what is it?” Neil Young, he is playing at the performing center at The University of Texas at Austin.
This was one of my first major photography jobs while living in Austin, Texas. Their were restrictions that I was not prepared for but I toggled on my knowledge of my gear and did my best. The stage was way further from where I was allowed to rome and shoot from.
After leaving performing center, I mentally kicked myself. Why? I didn’t take photos of concert goers, excited fans, and the staff at the center.
The lady in the photo below traveled 13-hours to see Neil Young perform, those are the kind of things that make a story pop. I hope next time I am sent on a assignment I will remember to shoot the whole story. For now this is what I could produce from this event.
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If you are having a quince and would like some photography please fill out the form below.
This quince photo shoot was one of my very first sessions as a “professional”. Very excited to be sharing older work so you can see the progress of how I have developed as a photographer. Even in 2010 I was taking risks and challenging myself to capture beautiful photos for my clients. Here is a great South Padre Island Quince Portrait Session that I still enjoy seeing today. ‘
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This photoshoot took place at the Long Center for Performing Arts in Austin, Texas back in March of 2010. We met through a mutual friend, Laura Caldron, who was also a photography enthusiast and classmate at The University of Texas at Austin.
Tawny and I met before the shoot on campus to plan the shoot outfit. I found out that her and dresses didn’t really mix much, she told me she was all about metal band t-shirts and jeans, which is totally badass because of her relationship to a certain metal guitarist but I challenged her to step out of her comfort zone and see if she can wear a spring style dress.
Although in 2010 I was an okay photographer but I was still learning. I made the mistake to setup the photo shoot 3pm. I remember dealing with a hot ass sun and sketchy cloud coverage and my strobes were no help because of how windy it was. I had to think on my feet and so I decided to go to the next resource, my handy dandy reflector disk. The good thing was I had my best friend Israel assisting me that day and his personality really helped us get this shoot of the ground after our setbacks.
Tawny was a lot of fun to work with. She was very talkative and actually knew how to pose. I might look for my RAW files from this shoot to take another look at them in a editing software. Special thanks to Tawny Hammett, Israel Cavazos, and Laura Caldron for making this happen.
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We just wrapped up our second wedding of 2020 and it was amazing! It was one of our biggest projects of the year and we can’t wait to share those reasons but that will be shown in a later blog post. Our friends over at the Skipper Ranch asked if we could photograph their son’s wedding and I was honored to do so. I had photographed their eldest son’s wedding on their beautiful ranch property back in 2014 but this time around they told me it would be a much more grandeur event.
I put together these sneak peeks for them a few days later just to have but later in the month I will be showing off a ton more shots from the wedding so you can see why this event was a big deal. Plus I was really excited to show off some of the work we shot with our new Fujifilm XT-3 and Fujifilm XH-1. Check out my favorite moments from Austin and Ashley’s Wedding.
Photo Credit: Jennifer Trevino, Sara Yanez, Ben Briones
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Check out this Quince we photographed in Rancho Viejo, Texas. The client was a returning client. I had done headshots for her and her brother once because they are very involved in pageants. This was a pretty unique and fun quince. Her dress was pretty and different from the typical puffy quince dress. I loved the color too! She had like three outfit changes which was pretty cool too and then the way she entered her reception was pretty awesome! Check out our favorite shots from this quinceanera event.
If you are planning a quince and would like some photography for your event please fill out the form below.
For the past eight years I have been photographing with a Canon 6D I purchased in 2012. That camera has been my workhorse for the majority of my work. I have also used a Nikon D600 and other Canon cameras, both digital and film, that I own. This January we decided it was time to purchase new cameras to use and abuse for another eight years. Say hello to the newest members of our arsenal; Fujifilm XT-3 and Fujifilm XH-1.
Months back we rented the Fujifilm XT-3 for 7-days and honestly, we fell in love with it. Sara and I tested it out on a few shoots. (seen below)
Shooting with a Fujifilm camera is a totally different experience than shooting with a standard DSLR. The Fuji’s are totally hands-on. If you have shot 35mm film photography, switching over to a fujifilm camera will be very familiar. I really fell in love with that aspect; creating a photo from technique and knowledge of your camera operation vs post production. I also love how much smaller they are than the standard DSLR cameras. Also since mirrorless is the “new way” for photography, that’s also a plus. Check out the difference between our 6D and our new Fuji bodies.
What to expect!
2020 looks promising for our studio especially with our new cameras. We already shot our first major wedding with them this past weekend and we are extremely excited to photograph all our upcoming events and photo shoots with the Fujifilm cameras. The cameras have these beautiful film simulations that help produce beautiful images straight out of camera.
We are looking to really utilize those film simulations to ease our workflow and become more efficient in image turnaround. I am really looking forward to carry less gear weight on me. If you have seen me shoot I am usually packed on with a lens belt and drag around a Pelican 1510 but with these smaller form factor bodies we will be hauling less weight, which is a plus for an aging photographer haha. Be on the lookout for our new work, which will mostly be done with our new Fujifilm cameras.
If you have questions about the Fujifilm cameras feel free to ask us!
Don Johnson is a local McAllen Christian Author. Mr. Johnson was debuting his newly published book and needed some head shots to include in the book and for his book release event. Here are some of the head shots I really liked and wanted to share with you!
If you are a writer or author and would like some head shots please fill out the contact form below.
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Loved the way these family photos came out! We took them at the beautiful Basilica Of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle – National Shrine in San Juan, Texas. The family pugs joined in on the fun too! If you are interested in taking multi-family portraits feel free to reach out to us!
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[Reflections of 2019]
There are so many people I could think of right now that I should be listing to give my most humble appreciation for their assistance in the success of Ben Briones Studios in 2019. To be transparent it wasn’t our most profitable year but it was a major year of growth, partnership, lessons, and love and understanding for business. I went from renting an office / studio at Grindstone in Edinburg, Texas to purchasing a home in north McAllen and dedicating two rooms of the four to the business. There were some great losses as well in personnel, time and tons of money but I truly grew from the losses.
[The Thank You List]
Sara Yanez, Luis Reyes, Maria Dolores Alvarado, Roland Hernandez, Emiliano Peña, Xiomara Denisse Anzaldua, Jennifer Trevino, Jessica Musick, Joe Martinez, Ray Pedraza,
[New Job, Less Time]
I took on a major role at my 8-5 job, which really affected my business. As the chief photographer of South Texas College, I have become more involved than before and I am on salary as well so basically I am always on duty. There are some benefits of it though. You can see the work I produce for STC on RGVison Magzine, at our website and on billboards across the Rio Grande Valley. With this newly upgraded position at the college it has taken a big chunk of my attention away from the business and to my clients who have been affected I am truly sorry. In 2020 I will be better at balancing both jobs for sure.
[Things I Am Proud Of]
Here are few things I am proud of that I did or did not do in 2019. For the longest time I have been a huge advocate for Apple products when it comes to photography, but in mid-2019 I bought myself a powerful gaming PC to replace my iMac and Macbook Pro. I never thought I’d see the day where I would be using PC to run my photography business. In 2019 I also increased my studio photography work, which I am very proud of and really enjoy. 35mm film became a new thing in my arsenal as well, I even dedicated a page on my blog for my scans. Lastly, I resisted the whole Sony / Mirrorless crazy everyone and their mother was buying into, literally. I am happy to say I am still shooting and creating beautiful work with my Canon 6D of which I purchased in 2012. I did not need a mirrorless camera to “to take better photos”. I formed a great new partnership with Terry The Wedding Gal and that has been a long relationship way before 2019 but this year it really flourished.
[New Things I Learned]
New things I learned about running a photography business in 2019 were as follows; always pay your quarterly taxes on time, if not you will get fined big time. Lesson learned. Always backup your files three-fold because losing someones photos is emotionally and financially costly. I bought a Synology and stacked it with 16TBs and use Amazon Drive as well. Buying digital ads is the new and probably the only way to get new eyes on your brand, which lead to new prospects and clients. I thought I didn’t have to buy ads but I was wrong. Stop giving discounts! In 2020 I hope to give less discounts, unless you paying cash… Last thing I am going to say I learned was to take breaks or vacations. I tried my best to take Sunday’s off but as a workaholic it was very hard but I managed to have some free fun Sunday’s with no work. Hence the “Studio Closed” messages on my business Facebook timeline.
[2020, What’s New and What to Expect]
Price increases across the board for sure and no more discounts, unless you are paying cash. We can talk about that more in person. New gear for sure, although I love my beat up 6D, I am really wanting to minimize my gear list, so I am looking at some mirrorless camera like the Fujifilm XT-3, which I rented in 2019 to test out for various shoot types like portraits and architecture. Better communication and time management for the studio utilizing a CRM or business system. More days off and vacation. Been working my ass off since 2007 as a photographer, about time I take some vacations and go explore the world and photograph it.
With all that said I leave you with a SEE NEXT YEAR!
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I consider myself a portrait photographer but have the skill to take on any photography challenge. My passion has always been photographing people. Now my business focuses on wedding photography. Ben Briones Photography has a location in McAllen, Texas but we shoot anywhere and everywhere.
Portraits are important to all of us because it selects an important milestone in your life and freezes it. You can look back at that portrait and remember almost everything you felt and thought at that very moment.
At Ben Briones Photography we take the time to produce fun and unique portraits for our clients because we believe in the power of photography. Come into our new office located in McAllen, Texas so we can show you our latest portrait and work and maybe set up a session for you!
[THROWBACK BLOG 2011]
If you are wanting to take portraits please fill out the contact form below.