Nature Photography – Austin, Texas

Traditionally my photography leans toward portraiture and photographing people. I’ve noticed that the majority of photographers start off their photography careers photographing nature and I don’t blame them because photographing people is very intimidating, especially as a beginner.

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There was a time when I would photograph butterflies on my college campus in between classes but that was as far as my nature photography would go when I was first starting my photography career.

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I find it kind of hard to photograph nature and I have learned it’s because I don’t have any patience and because nature doesn’t respond to you. Recently I have had a want to shoot more nature but I just don’t feel like I have the time to do so. Hopefully that can change soon. In the mean time here are some of older “nature” photography I captured when I was living in Austin, Texas attending the University of Texas at Austin.

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Austin has beautiful sceneries in every corner so a lot of my “nature” photography was done when I would need to walk / commute somewhere. The majority was also taken on the UT campus because it’s such a beautiful mix of landscape, nature and architecture. _MG_9887

Hopefully I will be sharing more of my nature photography after this post. I feel excited to go out there and shoot, hopefully I find the patience and make the time. Thanks for reading!

Eat, Live, and Breath Photography

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EAT

For those who have been a career photographer for three years or more can probably relate. When on a gig or assignment you literally eat on your drive to the next gig, while editing photos at a coffee shop or in your office and sometimes your clients feed you too. If you are like me, I charge all my meals to my business account because for the most part I am always eating while working and for that I am thankful. Through photography I have been able to feed myself, my family and loved ones because I have followed my passion through and through, as if it was my next meal.

LIVE

Photography has been my passion since 2007 and we have just entered into 2019 and I am still going strong. I am more than sure I have done something photography related on the daily since 2007. When I graduated high school I went straight to the University of Texas Pan-American where I quickly got involved with the college newspaper and magazine as a photographer. When I transferred to the University of Texas at Austin it was to be admitted into their photojournalism program. When I was absent at parties and school events it was because I was either working on my photography business or shooting something for the college yearbook. Today I work at South Texas College from 8am to 5pm as their PR & Marketing Photographer and when I leave at 5pm I go straight to my home office to work on my photography business from 5pm – 2am in the morning. I live photography daily because it is my passion. It’s all I know and it’s all I love to do.

BREATH

When you become a business owner, especially a photography business owner, sometimes it’s hard to catch your breath because you are constantly working and bettering yourself. It’s important to sit back and take a breath of fresh air….SIKE! It’s actually really hard. To those photographers who find time to travel and put down the camera and remove yourself from the editing computer, kudos to you, I envy you. To those who are workaholics like me and have a camera within arms reach, hell yeah, let’s get this cheddar. (Sara, “But you’re lactose in tolerant.) Fuck it, I will still get the cheddar. If you love photography, breath it daily. If you find yourself gasping for air because you’re not working, start working and work hard.

PSJA Elementary School Choir Festival – Pharr, Texas – Ben Briones Studios

Very proud of my Sara for the performance her kids put on at the annual Elementary Choir Holiday Festival for PSJA ISD. She’s such an amazing music teacher and great choir instructor! Here are some fun memories from this event.

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If you want us to cover your special event please fill out the contact form below.

Sara Yanez – Waco, Texas – Ben Briones Studios

Last photo shoot of 2018 with my number one model, my Sara Pie! Sara and I have been vacationing in Waco, Texas for a few days but it has been cold and rainy but today the weather was nice so we took advantage and had a photo shoot with our Nikon D600 and 50mm 1.8 lens. We shot all natural light at this beautiful historic bridge in Waco, Texas. These are some of my favorite shots. Enjoy and happy new year!

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If you would like a photo shoot in Waco, Texas please fill out the contact form below.

Self Portraits – Ben Briones – 2008

Every photographer at one point takes a self portrait. I think this must of been my first self portrait since I purchased my first semi-pro DSLR camera in 2008 with my college fin aid money. After checking the metadata I saw that I shot this with my Canon EOS 20D. That stripe shirt use to be one of my all time favorite shirts to wear around that time. Memories! I think I am due for another self portrait session soon with another stripped shirt. 11.02.08_Ben Briones Self Portrait_MG_594411.02.08_Ben Briones Self Portrait_MG_595911.02.08_Ben Briones Self Portrait_MG_596011.02.08_Ben Briones Self Portrait_MG_5966

Butterfly Photography – An Old Obsession

Between 2008 and 2010 I use to have this obsession with photographing butterflies. I would take my camera to school at UTPA and hang around the small butterfly park next to the chapel and just wait around for butterflies to land on plants and flowers. Once I transferred to UT-Austin I would continue my obsession capturing pictures of butterflies on my spare time or when I needed to have a chill moment. I remember walking around with my headphones full blast playing Sigur Rós and just getting lost in the moment looking for butterflies to photograph. Here are some shots I found in my old hard drive. Butterfly2Butterfly3Butterfly4

My First Photo Shots – Yvonne Longoria – 2008

This is one of my very first “professional” photo shoots from way back in the day. The file metadata said it was created in 2008. These shots are recent edits but they are not far from the original JPEG files. I shot this with my first camera the Canon Rebel XTi. I think back then I aspired to be some type of fashion photographer. Yvonne was the cousin of my best friend Eddie who setup the photo shoot for us at Yvonne’s mom’s backyard. Wow, memories! If you wish to see the unedited JPEGs PLEASE let me know and I will add them to this blog for comparison. Look how are you have come young Ben Briones. 07.27.08_High Res_Yvonne Longoria_BBP-925907.27.08_High Res_Yvonne Longoria_BBP-926807.27.08_High Res_Yvonne Longoria_BBP-927307.27.08_High Res_Yvonne Longoria_BBP-928207.27.08_High Res_Yvonne Longoria_BBP-929807.27.08_High Res_Yvonne Longoria_BBP-9333

On Demand Photographer

Yesterday Sara Yanez strutted into our photo studio we have at Grindstone Coworking and demanded a portrait because she was wearing a new black dress she recently bought! She was lucky I had my camera ready to go because I had just finished documenting some events at Games of Texas in the morning.  Okay maybe even if I didn’t have my camera ready I think I still would of prepared the gear. I mean just look at this portrait… isn’t she just gorgeous? When Sara and I first met I would always take portraits of her and I think its time I start that backup again!

There is something beautiful about photographing your significant other. There are so many photographers who actually never show their girlfriend or wife off and that’s a little strange to me. I try my best to show Sara off when the opportunity arises. It also helps that she is drop-dead gorgeous and has amazing style. Men I say you bring your girl to our studio and have Sara and I conduct a beauty portrait session for y’all.

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Men if you are looking for a unique photo session for your girlfriend or wife with us please fill the contact form below.

The University of Texas at Austin Remembrance Walk – 2017

When you think about life there will always be those milestones that you are extremely proud of and will forever be stored in your memory. For me that’s my time at The University of Texas at Austin. The four years I spent there were some of my happiest moment but of my toughest days. To be honest the range of emotions range from the the worst to the best.

A weekend ago I took a trip up to Austin, Texas to take some furniture to my youngest sister Veronica because she is now attending UT-Austin now. Her and I have visited together before she was an actual student but this time around we took a two-hour tour of the places I use to have class and the routes I use to take back when I was a student.

I spent the majority of the time at the Moody College of Communication building

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View from Dean Keaton from the Moody Bridge at the University of Texas at Austin.

Moody College of Communications Court Yard at the University of Texas at Austin.

Moody College of Communications Court Yard at the University of Texas at Austin.

The Moody College of Communications Study Area at The University of Texas at Austin

The Moody College of Communications Study Area at The University of Texas at Austin.

The Student Union walkway at The University of Texas at Austin.

The Student Union walkway at The University of Texas at Austin.

Stairs to the Main Mall at The University of Texas at Austin.

Stairs to the Main Mall at The University of Texas at Austin.

The Main Building (also known as The Tower) at The University of Texas at Austin.

The Main Building (also known as The Tower) at The University of Texas at Austin.

Garrison Hall at The University of Texas at Austin.

Garrison Hall at The University of Texas at Austin.

Garrison Hall hallway at The University of Texas at Austin.

Garrison Hall hallway at The University of Texas at Austin.

The Main Mall at The University of Texas at Austin.

The Main Mall at The University of Texas at Austin.

The Turtle Pond at The University of Texas at Austin.

The Turtle Pond at The University of Texas at Austin.

This spring break I will spend a whole week in Austin!

Exiting Photography? WAIT! READ this first!

DON’T DO IT!

If you’re a professional photographer who’s been thinking about leaving the industry, don’t! There are so many opportunities for growth and income. I understand it can get tough. Especially if you are the only one doing everything in your business. You loose your free time, your weekends and sometimes you family. But don’t give up! There are plenty of ways you can still be an active photographer but with much less stress.

OPPURTUTNIES

  1. Second Shoot: reach out to the local photographer’s who are super active and always booked and offer your skill and time to assist them. Mostly likely you are already friends with these people and so it won’t be awkward or difficult to try to get hired as a second shooter. Second shooting is less stressful and at times allows you to be more creative than when you are the head photographer.
  2. Photo Editor: become a photo editor for local photographers. I would advice you to reach out to some photographers and let them know you are offering this service. If you are already a pro and people know your work, you wont have to prove anything to them. The most work would be learning how to edit in their style. Trust me, if you are an active professional photographer, you do not want to be sitting behind a computer editing photos for hours. Most professionals I know outsource their edits to online companies but I think hiring someone local will give them better peace of mind. Figure out a price point that you like and offer editing services to replace the income earned from one photo shoot each month.
  3. Photography Classes: since you are a seasoned pro, I think it would be valid to offer photography classes. I offer some to a few people and it’s a good little side hustle. Find a group of beginners and start a collective class or give individual courses in all things photography. Start with basics all the way up to complicated outdoor lighting. Put out an add on the paper, yes the newspaper! Or on craigslist or Facebook.
  4. Photo Booth Rentals: this side hustle idea has been one of my best ideas ever! I own a photo booth and rent it out frequently. It cost me a little over two grand to build, in which I built it in 2010, and since then it has returned my investment 10x. You can add this service to your existing packages to earn more from one sale or client or you can offer it as a separate business. It doesn’t really take much to operate one. You can setup and operate yourself or hire someone to do it for you. If you would like to find out how you can do this, message me!
  5. Rent Your Gear: Another risky but lucrative side hustle that will help you supplement some income. Many of you reading this will most likely never rent out your Canon 5d Mk3 or Nikon D810 and now the popular Sony AR III, but I would! Why you ask, because money bro! Money and culture! I have all the right legal documentation in place to protect my gear and sue your ass if you break it or steal it. And I also enjoy helping people who are barely starting and want to know if a certain lens or camera is worth buying, so they rent it first to test it out. I don’t have the best gear but I do have quality items and instead of them just sitting in my office Monday – Friday collecting dust, I rent them.

 If you need help finding ways to make extra income as a photographer, hit me up by filling out this contact form below.

 

HHD to SSD to HHD – Ben Briones Studios

ADVICE FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS

In 2016 I had a major hard drive failure with a 1TB Seagate and a 4TB Lacie, which were both regular Hard Drives. I lost client wedding photos but months later was able to recover them!

After that incident I went from HHDs to SSDs because they are much more reliable, faster and portable. Today I’ve officially gone back to HDDs and let me tell you why.

In the photography industry there is always innovation. Things get smaller, faster, better built, more intelligent and easier to access. In 2017 I had issues with the amount of space I had to backup my files. 1TB was not enough for the pace my studio was growing plus the amount of video production gigs we are booking. So quickly my 1TB SSDs ran out of space and we had to turn to the cloud to backup storage space. Files where spread everywhere and that was not safe. I was using both Dropbox Pro and Amazon Drive, plus a combo of different SSD and regular HD drives.

The issue is not that HHD are not reliable it’s how safe you keep them. Safety means not moving them, good enclosures and having enough space that you won’t have to be saving files anywhere else.

In 2018 we are working with 4TB of local HHD space for the year on RAID 1. We are also using Adobe Lightroom to backup and archive files because dragging and dropping files or folders from a mounted memory card to a hard drive is faulty. I advice all photographers to setup their Lightroom, Photo Mechanic’s or even iPhoto app to backup your files when you mount your memory card.

I can’t dictate how you should backup your files but I would give you this advice. Always back them up right after your shoot or event and double that backup because those pictures are one in a lifetime memories that you might not be able to replace. Ready my personal story on that here: https://benbriones.com/2017/04/23/mistakes-of-a-photographer-ben-briones-studios/