Photography Lesson with Edna – McAllen, Texas

Photography Lesson: Composition

A while back I met up with my good friend Edna, who is an amazing photographer, to do a photography lesson on composition. To be honest I don’t know why she does lessons with me because her work is amazing already but I’ll take any moment to teach anyone who’s passionate about photography and getting better with a camera.

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Photograph by Edna

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Photograph One – Edna V.

Photograph One – Edna V. –  BREAKDOWN 

The photo is really well balanced from the top and from the bottom. This is important in when composing a shot because you never know when your client may want to purchase a print. I always teach my photographers to shoot for print and this shot was perfectly shot with that in mind. The pose / body also forms a triangle and that is important to note because the human eye is attracted to simple shapes and if you can create those simple shapes through human poses you have won the eye. I also encouraged her to shoot from an angle so we can get the leading lines formed by the bridge and rails. This helps the viewer follow the lines to your subject.

Photograph Two – Edna V. –  BREAKDOWN

Often you find yourself near a set a stairs and want to pose your subject on the steps, which is what we did here. If it’s a long stairway I always suggest to sit the model 3 to 4 steps up from the bottom to allow some space above the head. In the photo above my student Edna gave enough space to frame the subject in the stairway. This setting was perfect for applying repetition, which is another important tool to use in composition. I was able to help see the shape in the body and the repetition of the stairs for the composition.

Kudos to my student Edna, as mentioned before, she’s already an amazing photographer and sharpening up her composition skills will just make her better. You can view here work her at this link: swankyfoto

If you are interested in photography lessons please fill out the contact form below.

Photography Lessons with Sara Yanez – McAllen Convention Center

Understanding exposure is important when learning photography. A few weekends ago Sara and I went to the McAllen Convention Center so that she could practice photography. So that the lessons could be as accurate as possible we had the same camera setup; Canon 60D with the Canon EF28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens. We also used a Sekonic L-308s Lightmeter to try to get realistic exposures.

The lesson was to understand how Shutter Speed, f-Stop and ISO work together to take a picture. We went through how each one works and what it’s used for and then we began practicing in different areas around the Convention Center. On the photos below you can see the settings and a small description of what we were trying to achieve.

I have been giving photography lessons for over 4-years now but don’t really advertise it. I like to think that some of photographer’s I have hired and worked with learned from me but who knows haha. Currently I have 3 students this year who I meet with to give lessons to. Each student is a different level in their photography so I always try to provide unique lessons for what they seek to learn or improve on.

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Canon 60D – 1/160 sec at f/7.1, ISO 640 @ 100mm (EF28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM) – Cropped Shade Portrait

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Canon 60D – 1/250 sec at f/4.5, ISO 100 @ 33mm (EF28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM) – Layered Low Angle Portrait

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Canon 60D – 1/250 sec at f/4.5, ISO @ 47mm (EF28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM) – Low Depth of Filed Reflective Head Shot

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Canon 60D – 1/8 sec at f/4, ISO 100 @ 35mm (EF28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM)- Slow Shutter Portrait

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Canon 60D – 1/1000 sec at f/3.5, ISO 200 at 28mm (EF28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM) – Foreground Low Depth of Field Portrait

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Canon 60D – 1/1000 sec at f/3.5, ISO 200 @ 35mm (EF28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM) – Low Depth of Field Layered Portrait

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Canon 60D – 1/1000 sec at f/3.5, ISO 200 @ 28mm (EF28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM) – Low Depth of Field Foreground Portrait

If you are interested in photography lessons please fill out the contact form below.

 

 

 

 

Stephanie Rios – Professional Photographer – Ben Briones Studios

There comes a time in your life when you have to ask for help! It is inevitable because as much as we think we could do everything and anything, truly, we can’t. And after we receive help it usually customary to thank that person. Today, I thank you Stephanie Rios!

crm-images_08-18-16_stc-203-copyMerriam-Webster’s dictionary defines help as the following: to give assistance or support to. Allow me to be the first to admit that I constantly need help and thus call one people for assistance. Mrs. Stephanie has become one of those people who has become my go to for support because she’s simply amazing.

Stephanie Rios is a wonderful mother, a gracious wife, a trusty worthy friend, an amazing sister, and ambitious and talented photographer.

I often refer to Steph as my shooting partner because the relationship is beyond a paycheck. I got to witness Stephanie walk down the isle as her wedding videographer. I got to witness Stephanie carry her beautiful son for nine months and document that milestone in her life. And I cannot forget about her husband, whom I have come to love equally, because to be 100% honest, Mr. Carlos Rios is badass. [Excuse my french.]
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Stephanie has helped me on numerous events, photo shoots, photo booths, and everything photography related. She’s extremely talented. She has an eye for detail. She has personality to become a super-star photographer. And I support it all. I support her ambition so much that I will defend her against anyone who tries to discredit her or worst not give her any credit for the skilled photography she provides anyone who hires her.

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This morning my friend Steph posted a  genuine question on a photography forum on Facebook called South Texas Photo & Video Community on how to approach photographer’s she second shoots with for credit on photos they share that she shot. For those familiar with forums you know it can get rowdy, and mainly by the know-it-alls [me included]. Well the question sprouted a healthy debate and insightful  opinionated information. [my two cents included]

The simple solution that I proposed to this type of issue is for the hiring photographer to create and have all second shooters / freelancers sign an agreement. Within this contract  the hiring photographer should include the verbiage and clarify the expectations,  responsibilities, and  intellectual property privileges of the second shooter. Sadly, none to very little photographers do this at all. I don’t blame them though, business knowledge is not that common in the photography industry. Many don’t take the time to see their brand as a business and that later become issues. [please read business books photographers]

A while back Stephanie and I did establish an agreement on how we will handle credit and images she has taken for my brand. And far from it do I ever not credit for her the help she provides me. I go beyond and link my clients to her personal brand; Stephanie Rios Photography because she’s worthy of praise.

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Photographers who are reading this I challenge you to credit your second shooters or assistants after your next photo related job. Give thanks publicly. Post your favorite shot they snapped for your brand. Take a behind the scene of them passionately grabbing capturing a moment. Take even further and share their personal portfolio so that your clients can see that you hire top quality talent.

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If you are looking to hire a photographer for your next event or photo shoot I recommend you a talented photography by the name of Stephanie Rios.


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Stephanie Rios Photographer 
Owner / Photographer
Weddings | Portraits | Children
(956) 313-1741
stephanievalencia7@gmail.com

Efrain & Ruby E-session – Mission, Texas – Ben Briones Studios

I have been photographing Efrain since he was a younger. My friend Efrian is a man of God, a minister of the word through music and just an overall amazing guy! In one day my super cool friend will be getting married to the love of his life; the beautiful Ruby soon-to-be Salinas!

Definitely excited for this Houston adventure we are about to embark! Guys I wish you tow the best and know that I am praying for you and your marriage. Thank you for allowing me to be part of this love story!

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If you are interested in an engagement photo session please fill out the contact form below.

The Photographer Series – Iliasis Muniz – Ben Briones Studios

Iliasis Muniz is a super talented up and coming photographer out of the South Padre Island area. She has been creating lively art for her clients for over 3-years now and has big ambitions to expand way beyond the Rio Grande Valley. She’s bubbly, giggly and a lot of fun! Definitely important qualities to have in the photography industry. For anyone who is familiar with photography personality, Jasmine Starr, Ms. Iliasis Muniz tends to remind me of her a lot, but of course, Iliasis has her own flair and unique qualities that allow her to stand out.

I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Iliasis for the first time this past Tuesday. What I really enjoyed was that she turned out to be exactly how you would imagine her being just by her personality on social. And to top it off she was so nice and brought me an unexpected gift. We met at Moonbeans in McAllen, Texas and talked about photography, business and life. Then we produced this pretty cool video interview laying out a little bit of her story. I think till this date this is one of my favorite episodes of The Photographer Series! Check it out, enjoy it, and let us know what you think!

You can view Iliasis Muniz’s work at the following links

If have enjoyed this interview and want share your story fill out the contact form below.


Client Review

Adolfo Alanis – Boxer – Ben Briones Studios

After editing these awesome photos shot by Jessica Musick, an associate of my Studio, I can’t help but to be very happy with one a returning client and two the awesome work all my associates produce for my brand.

Trusting someone to go out and photograph YOUR client can be a scary thing. Delegating is a important factor to growth. It is also a important factor in building up your associates in giving them responsibility and ability to shine. For those who are looking into building a business that works best for you, never be afraid of trusting your associate shooters.

I will never take credit for the work my associates did, especially someone like miss Jessica Musick because she came into my brand as seasoned shooter. But I will take credit for the opportunity for growth in Jessica Musick’s photography career because I choose to completely trust her skill and ability to create quality art for my brand.

I present to you these intense portraits made by Jessica Musick for Ben Briones Studios.

You can view Jesscia’s personal work a Jessica Musick Photography.

 Photo Credit: Jessica Musick mcallen photographer commercial photography Adolfo Alanis boxer ben briones studios photography weslaco texas houston austin san antonio AlanisBoxer_WEB_BenBrionesStudios-9 AlanisBoxer_WEB_BenBrionesStudios-13 AlanisBoxer_WEB_BenBrionesStudios-24 AlanisBoxer_WEB_BenBrionesStudios-29 AlanisBoxer_WEB_BenBrionesStudios-32

 

If you would like to schedule a unique photo session please fill the contact form below.

A Photographer’s Unspoken Fears

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Have you ever asked yourself what your greatest fear a photographer is?

Last week I took a survey to see what photographers dread the most and many had valid fears such as; equipment malfunction during a job, or equipment being stolen, and not making enough money.

We have all faced the fears listed above and overcame them and that’s why we can share those experiences but there has to be something deeper that will just shut us down and make us put our camera away forever.

My greatest fear is the image of success without feeling successful. 

It tears me apart that people look up to me and yet I can’t stand to see my own reflection. This is me being completely honest with the photography community. Now I am proud of the success I have had as a photographer but during those successes I was actually there, but today I feel my image is not a true reflection of my “success” and that I am living on the image of who Ben Briones once was. The photographer in me has reached a plato. The businessman in me has lost count of all the numbers. To my clients I look busy and to my family and friends I’ve made it but honestly I’m just floating without paddling.

 Reversing the fear and moving forward and doing work! 

Today I woke up wanting to work, wanting to serve and being thankful for the life my God has given me. I may still be disorganized but I am acknowledging it. I may still be behind on work but I am rushing to catch up. Slowly I am regaining momentum and motivating myself to accomplish more than the day before. Last year I chose to be more transparent with my business through this blog and today I let you see directly into my world and my unspoken fear as a photographer. Now it’s time to work even harder than before.

The photographer lifestyle shouldn't revolve around your image but the work you put in to making that picture. 

Melody & Edgar Wedding – Mission, Texas – Ben Briones Studios

Saturday evening team and I had the pleasure of capturing some very emotional and precious moments for my clients Melody and Edgar. Just a day ago I could hear the stress in Melody’s voice in a phone call that we had and today I saw nothing but smiles and tears of joy!

Melody and Edgar have been together for about seven-to-eight years. Can you image how it feels to finally be officially together? Couples like these make me want to fall in love and have a wedding of my own.

Melody and Edgar, thank you for reminding me why I chose this career and why I love it so much. Moments like these remind me what God made me for. I love you guys and I wish you the best!

Special thanks to Imanol Miranda, Laura Soria, and Ramiro Galvan for capturing this day for our amazing and loving clients.

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If you’re interested to book Ben Briones Studios, feel free to fill out the following contact form.

Fabiola & Dustin Wedding – La Feria, Texas – Ben Briones Studios

Every time I upload a blog and review the images in preview mode, I cannot help but smile. I love-love-love seeing the product. More than that, I love to see the special moments my team captured.

Fabiola and Dustin’s wedding was so much fun. Dustin was such a gentleman and super easy to photograph. Fabiola glowed so beautifully that any angle we shot of her looked gorgeous. These two were meant to be; just look at their photos. Fabiola and Dustin chose a beautiful outdoor venue: Casa Los Ebanos in La Feria, Texas. It was such a great feeling to be taking photos outside in nice cool weather. All the decor and detail of the wedding was laid out with such care. Even the DJ had us moving. I am confident in saying this was a prefect wedding.

What made this wedding so much fun was the amazing team that took their time and talents to capture this special wedding. Photographers never forget to give credit where credit is due! Thank you Mike Garcia, Laura Soria and Ramiro Galvan. What you did for my client that day is so special for both her and me.

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If you are getting married and would like to find out more about our packages please fill out the contract form below. 


Client Review

Very polite staff, affordable and paying method was easy, the only thing was that some of the most important pictures like in the walk down the aisle pic you can see the photographer’s equipment in the background and the ceremony pics you can see the assistant photographer in the background.Other than that everything was good, my guests and I really liked the photo-booth.

 

D’ Gala Banquet & Special Events – Mcallen, Texas – Ben Briones Studios

One of my favorite venues to photograph at is the D’ Gala Banquet & Special Events located 2100 W. Nolana Ave. McAllen, TX 78504.  My first memory of this venue a wedding was way back when it was called Michelle’s but with the venue’s upgrade D’Gala is simply elegant. My favorite angle to shoot in this venue is shooting upward toward their beautiful chandelier display. My brand, Ben Briones Studios, has serviced clients in photography, videography and photo booth at this beautiful venue. Please enjoy some samples photos of my work at this venue.

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Contact D’ Gala Banquet & Special Events 2100 W. Nolana Ave. | McAllen, TX 78504 Office:956.994.0044 info@dgalaspecialevents.com to find out more info about their packages. 

If you are having a wedding at the D’ Gala Banquet & Special Events and would like to view more sample images from this venue please fill out the contact form below. 

Why Should People LIKE Your Facebook Photography Page?

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The race to the most Facebook page likes is the “in thing” these days, especially in the photography industry. There is a misconception that the more likes you get, the better you are than your competitors. Every now and then you’ll be scrolling through your Facebook feed and you see that photographers update their statuses with “Please like my page” or “10 likes away from 500 Likes, please visit my page”. I usually ask myself, “Why should I like your page?”

Think about it. What value does a “Like” bring to both you and the person who liked your page? I’ll be the first to admit that I was one of those people that would constantly ask for likes. I used to think the more likes I had the more potential clients I could gain, but now I know that likes does not necessarily transfer to paying clients.

A while back I made a small survey for local photographers and asked them to share their thoughts on why people should like their Facebook business page. Names will not be mentioned but I’d like for you to read what your peers are thinking and to see if it’s similar to your thoughts about Facebook likes.

Next week I will update with a blog post that will list ways Page Likes bring value to you and your clients based on some of the responses here.

Photographer 1

I think I’m really good at what I do. My photos can bring a smile to people’s faces. I have 600 likes on my page but it doesn’t mean I have 600 clients or even potential clients. I like to think I have 600 people who appreciate my work and wanted to show it by liking my page. So people should like my page to see and appreciate the memories we, the client and I, make and bring some light into their Facebook News Feeds.

Photographer 2

My Facebook page is obviously meant for people to see my work, but also to find out info about my schedule, etc… I make all of my announcements there, like when I will and won’t be available. Also, since my business is 99.9% word of mouth, and contact related, people like to see posts about other people that they know, so mainly I would say they should like it so they can see people’s kids that they know, and to find out about scheduling…make sense?

Photographer 3

I think it’s important for people to like my page to get my name out there. For me right now I have a lot of ideas and tips and techniques that I’ve learned and want to put into practice. The more people know about me, the more I get to shoot. But as per Facebook, when a client or friends like your page they restrict the post they can see, since basically it free advertising. This is something I’ve recently heard of but for any page I think maybe “shares” need to be incorporated as well. So other people who haven’t liked your page can see it also.

Photographer 4

Free advertising for small business. You got top dogs in the game like Alaa, Yoi and Jay and you got Eric Sierra and then You got the rest of us that have barely entered the game. The more people that like your page the more active your page gets. As long as one “likes” there goes the whole networking. That’s how Facebook works.

Photographer 5

For me, personally, my personal page resonates more with my client/prospective client base than the actual business page. I struggle to maintain it and it doesn’t have as much reach as my personal page. When I started a few years ago, Facebook helped a lot and it was solely my personal page. As with my blog, my business is based off of me, who I am, so the blog and the personal Facebook page helped people connect with who I am. Honestly, my business page feels so cold to me and I have little interaction with it and with clients through it. So to answer your question, I actually think I feel indifferent if people like my photography page or not. I enjoy a more natural and tangible feelings everyday with my business so while social media helps, I have found other ways to connect with people than simply through the Facebook page.

Photographer 6

Serious note: If they like it, they like it. I’m not one to push weight on people to “check something cool out” or anything in that similar sense. If I had to I’d say “Take a gander at the raw intensity I portray in my event portraits!” Only because I truly believe it’s my strong point in my work

Photographer 7

I don’t know if I get the return on promoting it with Facebook new sponsorship pricing. So no.

Photographer 8

I think people are always looking for something different and by liking someone’s page they might see something they like and have it made or done that way! It doesn’t really mean they will book you for it but keep you in mind.

Photographer 9

To see my promos.

Photographer 10

People should follow us if they like what we have to offer. They keep up to date on anything we do. Who doesn’t want to see great pics of people they may or may not know. While not necessary, it is a useful tool for publicizing your business.

Photographer 11

That’s honestly a question I never thought about, but why should people like my photography page. Well not only are people able to contact me through there but they can also check out my work and see if my style of work, the way I edit or where I shoot is what they want for their photos. I think it’s easier to navigate and easier to stay posted on upcoming things like in case I do another park mini or even another one of my RAW shows if they are interested in going to check out my stuff up close and meeting with me. I like that it’s easier for clients to share there photos and also great for obtaining new clients.

Photographer 12

Thats actually a tough question. haha. I suppose mainly to support local art, but to also keep updated with promotions and specials or giveaways. Everyone needs beautiful photos and its a chance to see some or to book a session for yourself. If anything its to continue to see the beautiful moments in the lives of others and to remind ourselves of true beauty in the world.

Photographer 13

To be updated on any work I’ve done or to updated on any contest or deals. Simple!

Photographer 14

Hey Ben! Actually I don’t have a photography page due to Facebook rules that require paying a handsome amount of cash to reach for your fans. However, if your question is related to Facebook posts related to the photographer’s work, then the answer is that they should follow it in order to get familiar with the photographer work. Photographer also may offer specials from time to another, that’s a good reason to follow him/her. A photographer can ask for a model male/female, so if the person think he could fit in the description, then it’s an awesome opportunity.

Photographer 15

People should like my page because not only would it keep them up to date on the projects and sessions that I’m doing but it would also give clients an idea of what they would like as far as a photo session theme or location. I feel that my page is not limited to just one certain audience, which provides a plethora of inspirational ideas. My page also shows a small portion of who I am, which I think is important to a client. I try to connect with my clients in a way where they can see not only what I look like, what I’m up to, but also so that they can feel at ease during a session – even if we’ve never met previously.

Photographer 16

1. Because they like what they see…photos. 2. They’re interested in some type of session….(wedding, XV, senior) and 3. So they can see whenever I offer any specials.

 

 

 

Do You Photograph Weddings On Sundays or Weekdays (Mon-Thurs)?

Yes, I do! 

 

Ben Briones Studios is open to serve your wedding photography needs whenever you say I do! I am offering discounted packages for couples getting married on Sunday or Monday – Thursday. If you would like to find out more information about how we can help capture your special day, please fill out the contact form below.

 

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How to web optimize your images for social media.

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ben briones studios

Ben Briones StudiosOptimizing your image for the web is very important when you are creating an online portfolio on a Facebook page. Here are the steps on how to optimize an image for the web using Adobe Photoshop.

  1. Open your image using your Adobe Photoshop application.
  2. Resize the image by going to IMAGE > IMAGE SIZE from the menu bar and resize your image to 900 pixels in height and click OK.
  3. Go to FILE > SAVE FOR WEB & DEVICES. Make sure you choose the JPEG option and 100% on the quality. The OPTIMIZED check-box should be checked off.

Those are the basic steps to optimize an image for the web using an Adobe Photoshop application.