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  • Our 2014 Pricing for Weddings and Portraits

    2805_SandAngel.com-XLAfter some thought about our business model and desire to contribute to people in need, we are going to implement a unique pricing structure for our 2014 weddings and portraits.

    We have been looking for some ways that we can give back to our community so we are going to donate a sizable portion of our income back to some charitable causes in the Arizona area.

    Part of the price for event photography will go to Sand Angel Photography because we have to cover things like our fuel, meals, taxes, and equipment that wears out. Unfortunately, the cameras and lenses don’t last forever.

    After that, we are going to donate a portion of our fee to some of our favorite charitable causes.

    The prices listed below aren’t the cheapest you will find but we figure you can ask your friends and family to pitch in knowing that this will be going to a good cause. These are our minimum suggested donations for us to take a job.


    Portrait Pricing – Up to 2 hours – $199:

    $99 – Sand Angel Photography
    $100 – Charitable Donation
    Additional time – $100/hr split two ways
    Plus any album, print, and product costs. DVD included.
    Plus any special lens and equipment rentals.


    Eloping or Courthouse Ceremony – Up to 3 hours – $299:

    $99 – Sand Angel Photography
    $200 – Charitable Donation
    Includes one hour wedding day photo portrait session.
    Plus any album, print, and product costs. DVD included.
    Plus any special lens and equipment rentals.


    Small Backyard or Park Wedding – Up to 5 hours – $749:

    $249 – Sand Angel Photography
    $500 – Charitable Donation
    Plus any album, print, and product costs. DVD included.
    Plus any special lens and equipment rentals.


    Full Day Wedding or Quinceañera – $1,499:

    $499 – Sand Angel Photography
    $1,000 – Charitable Donation
    Includes separate engagement or portrait shoot
    Plus any album, print, and product costs. DVD included.
    Plus any special lens and equipment rentals.


    Charitable causes include but are not limited to:

    Phoenix Allies for Community Health – Medical labs and medical supplies for free health screenings and treatment.

    No More Deaths – Water and first aid supplies for wilderness search and rescue.

    The Restoration Project – Food supplies, travel supplies, phone cards, etc.

    If you have any questions, please contact us for an appointment to talk about how we can help you.

    Robert Haasch
    Phone: 602-663-0335
    Web: www.SandAngel.com
    E-mail: Robert@SandAngel.com
    Facebook: http://www.Facebook.com/SandAngelPhoto
    Pinterest: http://www.Pinterest.com/SandAngelPhoto

  • DJ Idea Sharing

    I found a cool new Facebook group that goes into pretty deep detail about the DJ wedding business. Before you ask, no, I’m not going to become a wedding DJ. I’m sure it would be a lot of fun but we’re talking about thousands of dollars of new equipment to buy.

    However, if you are a wedding vendor or a bride looking for information about how DJ’s do business, this is a great place to read more about the topic. A lot of the business information pertains to wedding photography as well.

    Go join the group and check it out:

    http://www.facebook.com/groups/djideasharing/

  • Arabella Vintage Wedding Shoot – Delaney and April

    Saturday morning, I was able to be one of the photographers for a model shoot at the Hotel San Carlos in Downtown Phoenix, Arizona. The theme of the shoot was “Vintage Wedding High Fashion.” There were about a dozen models on set and I shot with seven of them for about three hours.

    The photo above was of Delaney Alvidrez. The shot was taken in the Ghost Lounge against one corner of the bar area. When I walked in, the bar area was very dark. At first I wasn’t sure how I would use the area but when I looked over in the corner I noticed the block wall with a ledge on it. There was a nine inch gap between the back of the blocks and the wall.

    I realized I could drop a speed light behind it on the floor, aim it to the ceiling, and uplight the wall. I then put a second speed light on a light stand behind and to the left of Delaney so that it was illuminating his left side and shining through the gap in the concrete column and the wall.

    I then placed my third speed light on light stand and put it in front of him to use as a main light. Once we wiped the dust off the ledge and he climbed up to sit on it, I raised the speed light up to about seven feet to evenly light the front. I also placed a 12 inch diffuser over the light to soften it up a bit.

    I set the camera to 1/40th of a second to bring in a little bit of ambient light. I was using that because to the right is a set of stairs and I was using a slower shutter speed to reduce the black hole behind the subject. It was facing the front of the building and there was a window on the street about forty feet away that was casting some light from the back.

    I set the f/stop to 5.0 which matched up with the lights. Since I didn’t need to place the lights very far away (like across a reception hall), I left the ISO at 200. Since I was taking a lot of photos I didn’t record the exact settings of the flashes but they were set around 1/8th to 1/2 power.

    If I had used a higher ISO, I could have used less power and saved on the batteries but these settings are usually what I aim for. It is a good middle ground that lets me adjust up and down as needed.

    Here is a second photo that I took with Delaney and April using nearly the same setup. And a big thanks to Delaney and April because they made the posing part easy for me. They knew exactly what to do which just left the technical stuff for me to screw up. lol.

    Credits:
    Agency – Arabella Models
    Model – Delaney Alvidrez
    Model – April Knight
    Dress – Kathleen Tinkler of Mrs. Tinkler’s Evening Wear
    Hair Stylist – Kristopher Osuna
    Makeup – Ginger Pelayo

  • New Flooring Project

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    Hey everybody…It has been a few days (The 4th of July) since I posted last so I thought I would throw a few pics up of one of my goals being started. One of the things Alison and I have been wanting to do for a year now is to rip out the carpet at home and do something with the flooring.

    About a week ago, I accidentally ran across a blog post online about paper bag flooring and it caught my attention. I’ve been wanting to do an acid wash on the concrete but it is covered in paint and gunk from when the house was built. Cleaning it off would be horrible and probably involve some nasty chemicals. With the kids around, that’s not such a great idea.

    “Paper bag” flooring basically involves pasting random pieces of brown builder’s paper to the bare concrete and covering it in several layers of polyurethane.

    We yanked out the carpet in one of the bedrooms, painted the walls, and then started on the floor over the holiday weekend. Most of the bedroom is finished and the next step is to continue out into the hallway and into the living room. I stopped short of the door because the door frame and the door needs a fresh coat of white paint.

    Here are a few photos from my cell phone of the work after I started it. I’ll get a new one showing the whole room when there is more light in the room.

    If I was following all of the professional advice of blogging, I would take this second to fill you in on how I can help you with your project. However, I have a feeling I will be sick of looking at polyurethane by the end of the month. :) Although if you have any questions on how I’m doing this, ask away. And if you need a wedding photographed beautifully, I would be happy to help. See how I snuck that in there? lol.

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  • Happy 4th

    If you are looking for how to do fireworks photos with a DSLR camera, it is actually pretty easy. First, you will need a tripod because you will be taking long exposures that can’t be handheld (unless you are looking for an interesting wiggly streak effect). Put the camera and tripod where it won’t get knocked over in the dark. It is probably best to keep it short and in a spot where the view isn’t blocked by people. However, having some silhouettes in the foreground can be interesting too.

    I usually set the camera to manual. You will want exposure lengths roughly between 5 and 15 seconds. The longer the exposure time, the longer the streaks will be.

    Set the ISO to 200-400 and the f/stop to a medium to high number like f/8 to f/16. If you set it wide open, you will get more extraneous light.

    In reality it is a matter of preference so feel free to try wide open shots too. On my 24-105L lens, a closed down number like f/22 makes pinpoints of light turn into star bursts. You’ll have plenty of time during the show to try different things.

    I tend to find that a closed down f/stop doesn’t overexpose the colors so much. A wider opening may lose some of the color saturation and look more white.

    The photo above was 5 seconds, ISO 400, and f/13 with an 18-55mm kit lens set at the wide open 18mm. You don’t need a fancy lens to get nice fireworks photos.

    The only other thing that may or may not be an issue is the focus. You may want to get your focus set on the first couple bursts and then switch it over to manual so your auto focus lens isn’t hunting for the right spot in the pitch black. Check it after every few shots to make sure it isn’t drifting off.

    And that is it. Play around and keep shooting.

  • YouTube Photo Slideshow

    Wedding Photography by Robert Haasch, Sand Angel Photography. Song: Marry Me by Glenn Kaiser

  • Lightroom settings: The previous button

    Have you ever wondered about or even noticed the “Previous” button in the develop module in Lightroom? Do you know what it does? Check out this video for a quick explanation. And if you are wondering what the photo above has to do with this…it doesn’t. Scroll down past the video for a quick explanation of how I took it.

    The photo above was taken in Downtown Mesa, Arizona in an alley behind the buildings on Main Street. If you go there, don’t try to look for the building with the bright blue paint because you won’t find it. It is actually painted medium gray. I shot the image around 6pm in January when the sun had already gone down and the sky was gray from raining all day.

    I setup three speed lights controlled with radio triggers to do the lighting. One was on a light stand a bit behind and to her left (camera right). That one had a grid attached to the front to direct all of the light onto her hair.

    The second light was to her right and pointed at the gray wall. I attached a primary blue filter to the front of the light which is how I changed the color of the wall. Then the third and final light was on a light stand to the left of me and pointed at the front of her. You can see the shadow extending from her feet along the ground.

    I don’t remember the exact flash settings. They were on manual since those radio triggers don’t have ETTL settings. If they did, I probably wouldn’t have used it anyway. The photo itself was 1/200 sec at f/5.0, ISO 200. I generally set the flashes to be fairly even. Depending on the distance and the ISO 200, the flashes were probably about 1/4 or 1/8th power.

    I didn’t do a lot of Lightroom work on this photo except to enhance the blue and to hide a couple of cigarette butts that were on the ground.

  • Lightroom Settings: Little girl at the park

    I had a photoshoot last Sunday with a client and her two little girls. We were at Red Mountain Park in Mesa which has a lot of bright green grass, pavilions, play areas, and a small lake with ducks and geese. One of the shots was under a covered play area. The cover was made of a blue fabric that let a bit of light through it.

    While the shade was nice, the blue color cast was rather extreme and put a strong tint onto everything under it. At the time I was thinking I might take the easy way out and do that set of photos in black and white. However, after a bit of tweaking in Adobe Lightroom, I managed to get the photos to a point that I really liked.

    06292013 before and after

    Here is the before and after. As you can see, there was a lot of blue in the before. It was also a tad bit underexposed. I normally like to get my in camera settings to expose the shadows rather than the highlights for outdoor lighting.

    06292013 lightroom settings

    I started out with my presets that set the clarity, vibrance, saturation, sharpening, and noise reduction. I use a preset to apply base settings to all of the images I import. It helps keep a consistent look and feel. After I have selected my favorite images, I start going through them one by one to fine tune the settings.

    Since there was so much blue, I increased the white balance by a thousand points to remove most of the blue color cast. Then I synced the exposure settings from a photo I had done earlier. I increased the exposure by .71 to brighten it up and then decreased the black setting to increase the contrast. I also maxed out the shadows setting to brighten up the dark areas. Those two settings tend to cancel each other out so I basically played around with them until I got something I liked.

    For the color settings, I decreased the blue saturation a bit more and then increased the luminance of the orange and blue. That made the darker oranges and blues come out a bit brighter.

    I then applied a split tone of a light yellow to the shadows to even out the blue tint even more. I then applied a -40 vignetting to the photo. I usually go with a -25 to -35 to keep ii subtle but pushed it up a little more since I had brightened the photo up so much. It also helps bring out the color around the edges.

    If you look at the background colors, you will see that they are pretty yellow. In reality, everything was green but with the increased white balance, everything not under the blue shade ended up with a strong yellow color cast. I could have changed the color tint by tweaking the hues of the yellow channel more toward green but I liked the warmer autumn color. Especially since I shot these at 1pm in the afternoon.

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