Hello Fujifilm! – Ben Briones Studios

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Hello Fujifilm!

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.

First Date

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)

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The Details

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.

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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.

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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!

The Posing Stool – Ben Briones Studios

THE POSING STOOL 

If you own a photo studio or have worked in a photo studio you well know that the the posing stool is probably one of your most important tools in your studio. Here are 3 reasons why the posing stool is a must for studio photographers.

7u8b4375Reason One

Having a posing stool in your studio allows you to diversify your poses. You can sit your subject, you can stand your subject using the stool to lean on and you can use the posing stool to do just that, pose your subject.

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Reason Two

Having a subject sit gives you a different perspective which will also be flattering for your model. When a subject is sitting you can shoot from a higher angle sliming your  subject. You can also hoot from a lower angle giving a sense of grandiose or power to them.

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Fujifilm XT-3 – Architectural Photography Test – Ben Briones Studios

I recently rented the Fujifilm XT-3 because it’s a runner up on the list for my next camera purchase and I have been testing out all it’s features in different photography scenarios. I had already done studio photos with the camera, outdoor portraits and night photos so this time around I wanted to try architectural photography. Here are some shots from my test shoot around my work at South Texas College Pecan Campus in McAllen, Texas. Pecan Campus Beauty Shots_02.13.19-9275Pecan Campus Beauty Shots_02.13.19-9280Pecan Campus Beauty Shots_02.13.19-9281Pecan Campus Beauty Shots_02.13.19-9292Pecan Campus Beauty Shots_02.13.19-9306Pecan Campus Beauty Shots_02.13.19-9310

If you are interested i commercial architecture photography for your business please fill out the contact form below.

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Fujifilm XT-3 – Beauty Dish Studio Test with Sara Yanez – Ben Briones Studios

Sara and I rented the Fujifilm XT-3 to test it out because we are thinking of buying ourselves a pair. Our first test was with a one light setup with a beauty dish on a pink seamless. Everything was shot in JPEG and we did very minimal editing or none at all one some of the shots.

I had to adjust the camera setting a bit before we starting getting good results. I had to remove the eyepiece live view because I wasn’t able to see the shot because high aperture kept the view dark. I was also having trouble with the focus. I couldn’t tell if the shots were in focus so I setup the eye autofocus to help me. The the last thing I adjusted was the touch screen so I can zoom into the shot and check the sharpness. Those were the only 3 things that I had issues at first before figuring out how to fix them. Great camera for studio photography. 2019-02-11_00012019-02-11_00022019-02-11_00032019-02-11_00042019-02-11_00052019-02-11_00062019-02-11_00072019-02-11_0008IMG_7926

If you want to donate to help me purchase this camera please fill out the form below.

[contact-field label=’Your Needs’ type=’textarea’/][contact-field label=’How Did You Hear About Us’ type=’text’/]

 

Pelican Cases = Successful Photographer

My Pelican 1510 loaded and ready for work. I’ve been using Pelican Products since 2011 and the products have been part of my success as a professional photographer.

I bought my first Pelican Case on Sunday, May 22, 2011 from B & H Photo and Video. I proudly purchased the Pelican 1654 Waterproof 1650 Case with padding and a lid organizer and it was the best purchase ever! Back then this setup cost me $338.94 but today something like this would cost you $463.31 from B & H Photo and Video. Sad to say I no longer own this model because I sold it to my cousin who’s a cinematographer.

Today I own three pelican case setups; Pelican 1510 Carry-On Case with padding and lid organizer (seen above), Pelican iM2620 Storm Trak Case with lid organizer and the Pelican 1560NF Case without foam.

If you have owed a Pelican case you know they are durable as hell and you can do so many things with them. Here are some of the ways I have used my Pelican cases:

  • Traditional photo gear storage and luggage
  • Photo Booth equipment and prop storage
  • iMac 27inch Travel Case
  • Clothing luggage travel for two people
  • Standing / Height stool (because it’s durable as hell)
  • Light Stand Weight

I am a big fan of Pelican and it’s has been an important piece of gear in my photography career that I hope to use until the end. If you have any questions about Pelican cases please feel free to contact me by filling out the form below.

 

 

Outdoor Test – Flashpoint eVOLV 200 – Edinburg, Texas

Tuesday night I tested out the Flashpoint eVOLV 200 with some friends at the Edinburg City Hall building downtown Edinburg, Texas. I rented the eVOLV 200 and PIXARPO 26in Collapsable Beauty Dish from a friend. The light was mounted on my Manfrotto Combi Boom Stand that was handled by my awesome friend and fellow photographer Lourdes Paz.

I only have this gear for a day or two so I needed to find some models to help. I sent out like 15 messages to friends and photographers and Audrie, a local videographer and YouTuber was the only one who replied and was willing to do it. Ms. Audrie Barrera and her partner Fern showed up and was ready to go. You can view Audrie’s show on YouTube and can be found at theaudreyshow.

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My goal is to purchase a new smaller compact light that packs some power and the new Flashpoint eVOLV 200 / Godox AD200 are the latest thing to hit the market that fit those specs. I rented one from a local photographer because I really wanted to test it out before purchasing one. I currently shoot most of my studio work and wedding photography with my AlienBee B800 Flash Unit by C. Paul Buff but I am in the marketing for something new.

 

We shot around 8pm-9pm, there was very low light and the sun was pretty much gone, but there was beautiful ambient light so I already had a hunch that it would do well. The light has been out for a while not and it seems that everyone and their mother owns this light, especially all the Sony shooters. Nothing against Sony, I’m actually buying one soon, but they seem to be the super duo.

I have also notice those who usually shoot with eVOLV / AD200 are typically High-Speed Sync Shooters. HSS photos are those shots where the photographer takes the model / client to a beautiful location but shoots so open they blur the background and only the subject is in focus. Not my thing but that technique is useful sometimes. On to the review.

I like the amount of power this little thing packs as well as the minimal power you can set it to. Most of the photos below were shot with the light at 32, 64 or 128. I shot with high ISO’s because that’s my style. I did a little of HSS but mostly kept the shutter at 125. Oh I didn’t mention that I was using my Canon 6D with a Canon 85mm 1.8 and Tamron SP AF 28‑75mm. I don’t shoot with fancy high-end gear, I am still using the same camera I have had since 2012. The creative mind is the most important gear in my bag.

Another feature I love about the eVOLV 200 is that it’s light. Logging around an AlienBee plugged into a Vagabond Mini on a boom stand gets tiring, you got chords galore hanging and getting tangled up, and it’s just not as portable as it once was. The eVOLV only weighs about 1LB where the AlienBee weighs over 3LBs.

Lastly I took liking to the variety of accessories the eVOLV 200 / AD200 have available. I used the PIXARPO 26in Collapsable Beauty Dish ,which was super easy to setup The bracket the light sits in is super simple to use as well. I am looking forward to trying out the light bare bulb and the barn doors in bright daylight. Here are my favorite shots from last nights photo shoot with the eVOLV 200.

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If you are interested in being a model for the next equipment tryout please fill out the contact form below.

 

New Video Tripod for Rent – McAllen, Texas – Ben Briones Studios

A week ago I received my newest addition to our video production equipment collection, the V3AH Video Tripod by 3Pod. The V3AH Anodized Aluminum Video Tripod has a 2-way Fluid Head and Quick-Release Plate, which makes it easier to swiftly move your camera from rig to rig.

The Tripod is super light as well weighing in at 9.2lbs for a sturdy tripod. It can hold up to 14.5lbs. This Tripod is for the traveling videographer or photographer doing small or medium commercial projects.

If you are interested in trying out this item mention this blog and get $5.00 OFF the 1 Day Rental.

If you’re interested in renting this item please fill out the contact form below.

New Photo Gear On The Spectrum! – Ben Briones Studios

EFFECTIVE – EFFICENT – PRODUCTIVE 

When you are running a full-time photography business, the main goal is to stay on top of all your work and make income. The myth that better gear will make you more money is somewhat true, but only if the gear you are investing in will make your business more effective, efficient, and productive and ultimately lowering your overhead.

Lately there has been a huge increase in new cool trendy photography products. A lot of them have been making their debut via www.kickstarter.com. For those who don’t know what Kickstart is here is a quick summary; Kickstarter is a company that helps people with projects or prototype inventions obtain crowdfunding to help them finance their projects and ideas.

The three products that I am featuring today are some Kickstarter campaigns I have kept my eye on for quite some time now. Why, because it’s my personal belief that these products are solutions to some issues and struggles I and many professional photographers face these days. The Tekniq Camera Bag for starters would completely solve the whole multiple camera bag dilemma we all have. Super pros like Chase Jarvis can afford to have multiple pre-packed gear packs ready for any type of job, but us little guys struggle with choosing to take our backpack or Pelican case to a small wedding. We are constantly having to change out gear from one carrying case to another. I currently own about four different camera gear casings that are not even close to being compatible with each other like the Tekniq Camera Bag. Over the seven years I have been in business, I have acquired a lot of gear so I don’t think one of these cases will fully solve that issue but I think purchasing one or two can really help me be more effective, efficient, and productive. Check out the Tekniq Camera Bag, it might be something beneficial for you!

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KICKSTARTER: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1455836023/tekniq-a-modular-camera-bag-3-bags-in-1

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/tekniqphoto

WEBSITEhttp://www.tekniqphoto.com


The Beast Grip Pro got me real excited when I first found this kickstarter campaign. I am a huge advocate of using your smart phone for projects and jobs if the situation requires it. At my last job, I created a small testimonial-promo video using my iPhone 5. Check it out here: 2015 Subaru BRZ Purchase. Right after filming that little promo I regretting not getting one of these sooner. The Beast Grip Pro will take your smart phonetography to the next level.

Chase Jarvis called it when he began working on his book The Best Camera Is The One That’s With You: iPhone Photography. Today Apple has build their latest campaign for the iPhone 6 based off the image quality of the camera of their device.

You might be asking how will this product help me be more effective, efficient, and productive in my photography business? Well, for starters the The Beast Grip pro is so versitle you can interchange lenses from both Nikon and Canon. There are plenty of additional add-on widgets that allow you modify your setup for both professional video and photography. This product can hep you do quick video blogs, behind the scene captures, quick on-the-go interviews all without having the bulk and struggle of your “pro” gear. We may not take this type of setup to a professional job as our main shooting unit, but it will definitely be a plus to your production and marketing for your business and for that very reason is why I will be getting a Beast Grip Pro.

beast grip pro

KICKSTARTER: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/107650693/beastgrip-pro-the-worlds-best-camera-rig-for-smart/video_share

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/Beastgrip

WEBSITE: http://beastgrip.com


I have so many good things to say about this product and it’s potential to make our lives easier as professional photographers. The Panlight is definitely a time issue solving solution, especially for us who use off-camera strobe lighting. This beauty allows your to remotely control the direction of your light via remote control. That function alone can come in handy at big events like weddings and catwalk fashion shows. The struggle to raise your light to a high point on your light stand and only to find out the direction of the light is not where you want it to be falling.

The Panlight can also remotely control a camera, which is extremely helpful for videographers and commercial photographers. Definitely an effective, efficient and productive product for both professional photographers and videographers.

panlight

KICKSTARTER: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1691789323/panlight-remote-direction-control-for-flash-and-ca?ref=category

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/panlight

WEBSITE: http://www.panlight.com


 

Photographers if you have a new gadget that you would like to share and talk about fill out the contact form below so I can feature it.

My Breakup Letter To Pictage.com

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Dear Pictage,

It is time to end our two-year relationship. There was a time when I really needed you but things have changed. When we first started our relationship I was super excited about you and all your qualities. What attracted me wasn’t only how innovative you were but also the free album building services, your very low credit card transaction rate of 1.5% and the great email marketing you offered my clients. But I was young and you were too — we grow, change, we also want different things and have new individual goals. I remember how extremely proud I was of having a pro-membership with you; I would tell everyone about you!

You know I always wanted to purchase canvas prints from you, but the prices were always too expensive. Now I get my canvas prints from someone else and the price difference is phenomenal. One of the main things that frustrated me about you was the difficulty of purchasing a digital download. My clients could not just download a full set of images straight from their galleries. The point that you were still offering CDs for $40+ was ridiculous in this era of the digital download.

It is obvious now that things are rocky between us and enough for me to downgrade to a starter account. My clients and I are demanding something you can’t offer and I have to look out for them myself. With its few ups and downs I can’t say I didn’t enjoy having you in my life — but it’s time to move on. Sincerely, Ben Briones.

To find out what Ben Briones Studios is using now for print products, canvases, and digital downloads. Please fill out the contact form below.

Printing in the 956.

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When I started shooting paid jobs back in 2007, I would make my prints at Walmart or Walgreen’s. Basically, any place that would develop my FujiColor X-TRA 800 ISO film. Yes, this young, handsome photographer began his career shooting 35mm film. I’ll share about about my film days in a future blog, but for now let’s get back something that will benefit you.
You can probably guess what local photo lab I’m going to suggest to you by the giant screenshot at the top of the post — but let me tell you why it’s the best option for you and your business.

First, the pricing they offer on their prints and enlargements are extremely affordable. You can easily turn a profit with a good mark-up on your print sale prices. I currently use Costco’s 4×6 luster prints for flyers or advertising material.

Second, Costco is quick, even with on-site orders. I usually make all print orders online via their Costco Photo Center Website and pick then up next day.
There have been some instances when I have taken a USB to print from their kiosks and the waiting period is less than an hour. I’ll place my order, then go get myself a slice of pizza and before you’re even done with your slice of pizza your prints are ready. I’ll give you a great example on how Costco has saved my butt. Last November I had a client who last minute chose to add an engagement session to their wedding packages. My engagement sessions come with a 16×24 Print. Usually you would do an engagement session six months in advance but in this situation, we shot it on the same month of the wedding. At the time I was a Pro-member with Pictage.com so they had free overnight shipping so, I wasn’t too worried about ordering my print from my usual lab located in California. We scheduled the session and completed it, we went through the image selection process and it was done. I placed an overnight order via Pictage five days before the wedding day thinking it would be in just before the wedding. Well, guess what? — it wasn’t. I went with plan B, which was making a poster print from Costco. So the night before the wedding I placed the order and went to pick it up hours before the wedding. Since it was a poster print on matte it was able to stand alone on easel. I let my clients know about the situation, and since my clients are paying for premium product I still gave them the original high quality print from Pictage.

Third, they make some legit canvas prints. Although Costco’s canvas don’t compare to canvases from White House Custom Colour or CG Pro Prints in quality, they are sufficient for the starting photographer or clients ordering themselves a canvas after purchasing the digital file printing rights. I currently have a Costco’s 11×14 canvas hanging in my office which I use to show my clients if they want to make a canvas print locally. Costco would be their best bet for a good quality print. I recommend Costco’s photo lab to my clients looking to make extra prints aside from the print orders they have from my professional lab.

Look into the site more, and if you feel Costco can be beneficial to your business sign up for their membership here. You can only order prints from this whole-sale store with membership. If you have any other questions about ordering prints locally, please feel free to contact me and I will answer any questions.

5 reason’s why PASS is better than CD’s or USB’s.

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Presentation is everything, is what used to be the model. We used to present our clients images on CD’s with elegant cases or custom USBs – but that’s a thing of the past. Customer’s demands have changed, in today’s fast moving technological world speed is expected on all product delivery. PASS, a photo sharing gallery for clients, has become the photo industry’s new best friend.

Here are the top 5 reasons why we use PASS.

1. PASS galleries are elegant and a great way to present high resolution images to your clients.

2. PASS stores your clients images up to one year on a cloud.

3. Your client can download their images from PASS on to any device. (Apple, Windows and Android)

4. The client can also order prints in the sizes 4×6, 5×7, and 8×10 directly from their PASS gallery.

5. Now the best part of PASS is the organic marketing it offers to our brand. Your client will share that gallery with friends and family and your brand will be shared as well.

If you’d like do find out more about PASS please visit http://pass.us/