Mellow Yellow Park Session with Sara Yanez

Sometimes you get inspired by the light and the beauty around and have to bust out the camera to capture it all. Shot these photos of my beautiful girlfriend during one of our on/off park walks. 02.07.20_High Res_Sara at Park_BenBriones-072302.07.20_High Res_Sara at Park_BenBriones-073002.07.20_High Res_Sara at Park_BenBriones-078002.07.20_High Res_Sara at Park_BenBriones-078402.07.20_High Res_Sara at Park_BenBriones-084602.07.20_High Res_Sara at Park_BenBriones-0869

Harlingen, Texas Adventures

A few Sunday’s back Sara and I were invited to an event in Harlingen, Texas but we had a lot of time to kill and decided to explore and test out our new Fujifilm XT-3 along with shooting some 35mm film pictures, which can be viewed here. Since we got the new Fujifilm’s we have been exploring all its functions and figuring out the best way to edit the images as well because it’s sensor is produced differently from our previous Canon and Nikon cameras. I have even explored shooting only in JPEG but still debating that one. Check out these fun shots taken with the Fujifilm XT-3 and edited in a different styles. Enjoy! 01.19.20_High Res_Harlingen Hangout with Sara-396701.19.20_High Res_Harlingen Hangout with Sara-399201.19.20_High Res_Harlingen Hangout with Sara-401201.19.20_High Res_Harlingen Hangout with Sara-404101.19.20_High Res_Harlingen Hangout with Sara-420701.19.20_High Res_Harlingen Hangout with Sara-422401.19.20_High Res_Harlingen Hangout with Sara-423601.19.20_High Res_Harlingen Hangout with Sara-425101.19.20_High Res_Harlingen Hangout with Sara-427801.19.20_High Res_Harlingen Hangout with Sara-430101.19.20_High Res_Harlingen Hangout with Sara-4351Snapseed

2019 Reflection – Ben Briones Studios

Ben Briones 2019 Thank You

[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!

Diana Atilano – Edinburg, Texas – Ben Briones Studios

This blog post is a major throwback to some of my first work! My good friend Diana is the subject in these photos and she did an amazing job even though I was a noob at the time. I think I shot these photos with my Canon Rebel XTi, which was my first DSLR. These photos date back to 2008 and it’s always exciting to look at my old work because it shows me two things; growth and passion. Tell me what you think of these in the comments. 08.23.08_High Res_Diana Atilano_BBP-6217_WEB08.23.08_High Res_Diana Atilano_BBP-6249_WEB08.23.08_High Res_Diana Atilano_BBP-6268_WEB08.23.08_High Res_Diana Atilano_BBP-6283_WEB08.23.08_High Res_Diana Atilano_BBP-6350_WEB08.23.08_High Res_Diana Atilano_BBP-6353_WEB08.23.08_High Res_Diana Atilano_BBP-6458_WEBIMG_6230_WEBIMG_6413 copy_WEBIMG_6528_WEB

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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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2 Days After Dad’s Heart Attack – Keirsten & Bobby Lopez Wedding – Ben Briones Studios

#TBT

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Two days before I filmed this wedding I sat in the waiting room of a hospital with my family at the left of crying and praying for my dad to come out okay from his operation. It was Christmas morning 2014 and my dad had a heart attack and my mom had secretly rushed him to Doctor’s Hospital at Renaissance. In the mist of all the emotions I remained calm. I knew that whatever was going on was out of my control and I was okay with that. Thankfully my Dad came out of his stint operation successfully and lived to tell the story of his Christmas miracle.

Let that story show you that even in the chaos of life I took upon my responsibility and the promise I made to Keirsten and Bobby to document their wedding day. With the help of my best friend Imanol Miranda we took care of business. Thankfully Bobby, the groom, had gone through a similar situation and he shared empathy for my situation.

I almost didn’t do it. I was already looking for substitute photographers but my Dad, with the little strength he had, he told me to go and do it. My Mom too also assured me it would be okay.

Passion is what moves you forward. Passion is what keeps you strong. Passion is what builds reputation. Passion is what builds you up. Dad, you have always allowed me to do what I love and it’s because of you I can serve beautiful couples like Kirsten and Bobby.

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