McAllen 18th Annual Miracle Riders Bicycle Team June 2 & 3 2006 – Ben Briones Photography

Here is another look at some of my first “professional” work I did back in 2006 for the Miracle Riders Bicycle Team. My friend Israel and I took on this gig as a photo and video team to photograph a two day bicycle ride from McAllen, Texas to San Antonio, Texas.

I was barely getting into photography as a career pathway so you can kind of see that reflect in the quality of the images and edits but you can definitely see I had an eye for it. It was quite a journey because for two days we rode in back of a truck photographing and filming this cycling team make their way to Bexar County. We took two days and camped out in Mathis, Texas, which was a really cool experience. It’s been so long since I shot this event but check out some of my earlier work below. 06.02.06_McAllen 18th Annual Miracle Riders Bicycle Team June 2-3 2006IMG_934906.02.06_McAllen 18th Annual Miracle Riders Bicycle Team June 2-3 2006IMG_944206.02.06_McAllen 18th Annual Miracle Riders Bicycle Team June 2-3 2006IMG_964506.02.06_McAllen 18th Annual Miracle Riders Bicycle Team June 2-3 2006IMG_970906.02.06_McAllen 18th Annual Miracle Riders Bicycle Team June 2-3 2006IMG_973806.02.06_McAllen 18th Annual Miracle Riders Bicycle Team June 2-3 2006IMG_987506.02.06_McAllen 18th Annual Miracle Riders Bicycle Team June 2-3 2006IMG_988806.02.06_McAllen 18th Annual Miracle Riders Bicycle Team June 2-3 2006IMG_996906.02.06_McAllen 18th Annual Miracle Riders Bicycle Team June 2-3 2006_MG_230606.02.06_McAllen 18th Annual Miracle Riders Bicycle Team June 2-3 2006_MG_235506.02.06_McAllen 18th Annual Miracle Riders Bicycle Team June 2-3 2006IMG_008806.02.06_McAllen 18th Annual Miracle Riders Bicycle Team June 2-3 2006IMG_019206.02.06_McAllen 18th Annual Miracle Riders Bicycle Team June 2-3 2006IMG_031006.02.06_McAllen 18th Annual Miracle Riders Bicycle Team June 2-3 2006IMG_032306.02.06_McAllen 18th Annual Miracle Riders Bicycle Team June 2-3 2006IMG_0350

If you would like to have your cycling team photographed please fill out the contact form below.

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Dennis and Cynthia Engagement | Memory Lane Photo Spot, Mission Texas

#TBT

Dennis and Cynthia gave us the pleasure of entering their world on January 4th of 2017 to photograph their engagement at Memory Lane Photo Spot. Enter their world is what we did as it became immediately apparent that these two lovers co-exist in a world of joy and laughter. It brought a smile to anyone to would stop and witness.

We photographed this fun couple at the famous Memory Lane Photo Spot in Mission, Texas. I really enjoyed photographing the couple at this location because it has so much variety and we felt it allowed the couple to be themselves and just have fun with the place. You will see a lot of genuine laughs and smiles radiating from the two.

Photo Credit: Jessica Musick 1-4-17_highres-dennis-e-session_bbs-4582_fb1-4-17_highres-dennis-e-session_bbs-4628_fb1-4-17_highres-dennis-e-session_bbs-4647_fb1-4-17_highres-dennis-e-session_bbs-4697_fb1-4-17_highres-dennis-e-session_bbs-4706_fb1-4-17_highres-dennis-e-session_bbs-4748_fb1-4-17_highres-dennis-e-session_bbs-4964_fb1-4-17_highres-dennis-e-session_bbs-4978_fb1-4-17_highres-dennis-e-session_bbs-5016_fb1-4-17_highres-dennis-e-session_bbs-5037_fb

If you are interested in booking your session with us and would like a quote for our photography services please fill the contact form below.

Sandra and Alex E-Session | Hummingbird Springs | Donna, Texas

On January 10th, 2017 we photographed Sandra and Alex at Donna’s Hummingbird Springs with their two dogs. It was easy to see the amount of love their dogs are showered with by these two but moreover how much love the couple has for each other!

Both Sandra and Alex are in law enforcement and both have their discipline but that day they reminded us that flirting is a key to a happy relationship. They are so sweet and awesome together. We were honored they chose us to photograph their love story. Thank you both for your service, above everything you two are the ones who put your life on the line for us regardless of who we are or what we believe, for that we thank you so much!

The photo shoot took place at now of the newest and hottest wedding venue, Hummingbird Springs located in 605 S Hutto Rd, Donna, TX. The locations is so diverse and beautiful. The location was the perfect location for our clients because they are pet friendly. Any look goes well at this location, rather you are in a suite and tie or relaxed outfit, you are guaranteed to look good.

Here are some of our favorite shots from this photo shoot!
Photo Credit: Jessica Musick

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If you would like to take some special engagement portraits with your loved one please fill out the contact form.

Hatch Family Session | Hidalgo Pump House | Ben Briones Studios 

I’m sad to start this story by saying they were missing one. The Hatch Family is actually a team of five but one of their son’s was not feeling to well and didn’t participate in this shoot. I promised them I would retake their session if they were ever back in the valley. They had been visiting family during the Christmas holidays and took advantage of the time to take family photos. Very grateful they chose us! Thank you!

We photographed them at the Hidalgo Pump House. Surprisingly their outfits matched the aesthetics of the location which was a major plus for all of us! The kids were little angles as well, always ready to pose. Mom and dad too were fun and always willing to take my instruction rather it be a standard shot or something creative!

I’m sad their other son didn’t join in but as someone who once was a teenage boy I can sympathize with him. As I mentioned I wouldn’t mind redoing it free of charge. Every family deserves a quality family portrait and I will champion that for the Hatch’s.

Photo Credit: Jessica Musick, Ben Briones

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If you would like a quote for unique family portraits please fill the contact form below.

Deedee & Manny E-session – Austin, Tx – Ben Briones Studios

In life you meet that one person that completes you. You always want to be with that person. They are constantly on your mind. I think I just met that couple. Deedee and Manny, you two are so perfect for each other.

I got in touch with this Austin couple through Deedee’s sister. A while back I had volunteered my photography services for a Make-A-Wish Foundation RGV Event for this beautiful young lady Messalinda Anzaldua, who’s wish was a winter themed quinceañera. Deedee’s sister Erica is a coordinator with the Make-A-Wish Foundation Rio Grande Valley and was helping at the quince. Well, after meeting me and seeing my work, she contacted me letting me know that she had a sister who was engaged and looking for a photographer. [Volunteer, it’s good for you!] 

Months later, here we are standing on the top of this rock at the Austin 360 bridge photographing the beautiful Deedee and very handsome Manny Garza on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. The couple was so much fun to work with and great to talk to. Sometimes I forgot that they were my clients because we all got so lost in conversation.

It was most definitely a fun Austin engagement session. We met at the Austin 360 Bridge, then traveled to Jo’s Coffee downtown Austin to photograph at the the famous I love you so much wall. Then we finished the session at the Performing Arts in Austin Long Center.

I feel very blessed to have met this awesome couple. They even took me out to dinner afterward and we got to know each other better. I honestly can’t wait for their big day!
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If you would like to schedule a unique engagement session please fill the contact form below.


Contact Review

I recommend Ben 110%! Ben is awesome. He was our photographer for our engagement session and wedding (Stephanie Rios assisted and is great, too). Ben is a professional in every way possible. He’s detailed oriented, skilled and takes the time to get to know you. I had several vendors at my wedding and Ben was by far the best, easiest person to work with. Ben can direct you on how to pose, but can also take excellent candid photos. Book him!

 

60% Businessman, 20% Technician, 20% Artist

Deciding to take your photo-career to the next level and start a business is a milestone in your photography journey.

I believe when you have reached this state in your career you are on the right path; especially because a decision like this comes from real demand for your unique services.

WARNING!

Your life is about to change. The balance between the businessman-technician-artist in you will have to shift for survival. Starting a business is the worst thing ever! You are taking a leap from a Monday-Friday 9 to 5 secure job and steady paycheck to a highly demanding Monday-Monday all hours of the day fluctuating income lifestyle, not a job, but a new lifestyle. The small business life is not for the faint of heart. You now have to value time over money. The misconception of going into business for yourself is that you’re doing it for more money or to be your own boss. Well my friends, that’s not the case, especially as a photographer. If you’re the type of photographer that wants to book clients, manage clients, shoot, edit photos, design products, personally deliver, market, advertise, and handle finances all on your own you will not go far! Going pro means you have evolved into a businessman and thus must think like one; this means focusing on your strength and outsourcing your weaknesses.

If you haven’t peed your pants yet, then here is how to get started on this wild transition from being a hobbyist to a professional photographer.

THE LEGAL

  • Decide your business structure; sole proprietor, LLC or corporation. Read more about business structures here,  Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. I personally began as a sole pro and then switched over to an LLC because there are risks one takes as a photographer that can result in lawsuits and an LLC protects your ass(ets). When it comes to dealing with government crap I get all scared, and because of that fear I hired a lawyer to handle the paperwork and legalities of registering my business. This route can get pricey as I stated in one of my previous posts but it was the best choice for me. I believe the registration fee if you’re going solo is $350.

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  • You also have to register for a Federal Tax ID. The government requires you to collect local and state taxes. Every service you offer has to be multiplied by 8.25% and that’s that amount you have to set aside for Uncle Sam. Click on the image below to find out why you have to pay taxes and how to go about it. The link will also allow you to began registering your business for a Tax ID.

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  • Register your business name with your local county. If you are operating in Hidalgo County Texas download and fill out this FORM.

BRANDING

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  • Will you be a signature photographer or create a studio franchise? This question is important in identifying the services you will be offering and how those services will be managed. My suggestion is to make a list of the services you want to offer and then ask yourself if you will have a hand in all those services or if you’re willing  to delegate them. This is important to know before registering your business because the government asks you to state the intention of your business. At this point you’re no longer just a creative now, your businessman-technician-artist balance is shifting.
  • After legalizing and deciding your business direction now a new concern arises; personal image. How do you want your business seen as? Who are your clients? As stated above once you have reached this milestone it’s because of demand for your unique services. That being said I would hope your business has some type of identity but you’ll be surprised how many photographers have decided to go from hobbyist to pro without any following or branding.

FINANCIAL ORGANIZATION

ben brione studios bank of america

Money makes the world go round and it will make your business go round as well. You have to open a business bank account! In order to do this you must present your Federal Tax ID. For my business I use Bank of America because I’ve had a personal account with them since I was 18 years old. Talk to my homegirl, Ada Montemayor over at the Bank of America on N. 10th Street in McAllen. She handles my business account(s) and can help you (956) 928-7151, tell her Ben Briones sent you.

The importance of a business checking account is crucial because it will help you manage the expenses and profit of your company. You can literally see if your business is growing or failing through the numbers. Most business checking accounts are accompanied by a savings account, which you could use for saving purposes or taxes. I used my business savings account to separate my sales taxes.

CLOSING

Follow these steps and do the research needed for your business. If you need to hire a lawyer do so. An account can also set up your business as well. I hope this blog was helpful and it will help you decide on taking your photography career to the next level. If you have any questions feel free to email me or fill out the contact form below.