"It's What I do"

As many of you may have read on my Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Flikr feed, I recently started a personal project I am calling "It's What I Do".  This project was inspired by another photographer, Matias Alvarado, and one of his personal projects he calls "The Faces I Meet".

The goal of my project is to capture a portrait of everyday people, but the image created will showcase that persons: profession, hobby or personal interest.  The plan is to create all images in black and white with a lowkey background (dark or black background).  So far the project is off to a good start, with 4 images created and 8 more pending creation for models that have already volunteered.

If you are from the South Texas Rio Grande Valley Area, and think this is something you would like to participate in, I am currently looking for additional models.  If you would like to volunteer to model, please reach out to me by eMail, Facebook or Text Message.  Let me know where you are from and what you do.  I may not be able to photograph everyone that volunteers, but I will do my best to get you all in.  In return for helping me with this personal project, I will provide each volunteer a free 8x10 of the final image and a small digital file, formatted for use on the internet; which can be used as your profile pic on social media or just to show it off.

Listed here are my first 4 creations.  Once I have compiled 20 or more I will make a gallery on my website that will house this and future projects.

Thanks for stopping by my blog and following my work.

Source: MagallonPhotography.com

Lady Lobos vs. Lady Huskies Volleyball

The "Free to View" Event Galleries are now up and running.  The most recent addition is a gallery from today's match up between the Palmview Lady Lobos vs the Juarez Lincoln Huskies.  This game was intense, the Lady Huskies put up a good fight but the Lady Lobos dominated the game, winning the the first 3 sets.

Drop by MagallonPhotography.com weekly, to see if new galleries have been added.  Please read all the terms and conditions before proceeding to a gallery.

Kiss a Senior

Sorry, this blog entry is not about photography.  But you may still find this story interesting.  Back in High School there were many special days celebrated: First day of school, last day of school, first football game, Christmas break, prom and many many more... but one day that I remember, vividly, was a day called "Kiss a Senior Day".

 

Kiss a Senior Day was an unofficial day celebrated near the end of the school year by students, some more than others, where one would to walk up to a Senior and give them a peck on the cheek and wish them well after they graduated.  Although, many also used it as an excuse to kiss a Senior they had a crush on before the school year was over, because they possibly would never see them again.

 

I take you back to 1993, Hall D, at La Joya High School, Kiss a Senior Day.  As I walked down Hall D, to get to my next class, a cute freshman who I had never meet before walked up to me and asked, "You are a Senior, right?", to which I replied, "Yes."  Without skipping a beat she kissed me on the cheek, then ran away.  I quietly looked around, and thankfully, there was no one around to see me blush.  I thought about that freshman all day and wondered who she was.  Eventually we would run into each other again and again, but she would always hide from me, by turning around then walking in the opposite direction.  Eventually, her best friend came upto me to tell me that he friend had a crush on me, but she was too embarrassed to see me in person because of what she did.  Later that summer, after I had graduated, she had the courage to talk to me, and I asked her out on a date.  "The rest", as they say, "is history."  3 years later I married that shy, cute, freshman.

 

I would like to say to my wife, HAPPY 19TH ANNIVERSARY!  Thank you for that first special kiss. It will never be forgotten. 

 

 

 May there be many more.

May there be many more.

I can't hear you, are you hiding

So, my blog has not received a lot of momentum yet, but I hope that will change in the near future.  My original plan for this blog was to post a minimum of one update per week about my work or How To Photo Tips and Tricks, but that plan changed after I realized how bored I was going to be this week and probably next week as well.

What many of you do not know is, I had a minor surgery and biopsy done on my vocal chords this past Tuesday.  I had been suffering from a chronic cough for more than 4 months now, which some of you saw first hand, as we discussed your photography contracts.  I was under the impression that my cough was due to allergies, and in a way it probably was, but it turned out to be a little worse than that.  I scheduled a visit to a Dr. and he found a small lesion on one of my vocal chords.  He said he was not sure how it happen but it could have been one of many ways, such as: eating something with a sharp edge, like a tortilla chip could of scratched it, yelling at the top of my lungs at kids basketball games or at my kids themselves, or maybe even coughing so hard while my allergies were acting up a few months before. Any one of those things, among other possibilities could have done it.  A small procedure was done to help it heal faster and at the same time he preformed a biopsy to test for cancer... you know, just in case.  We have not received results of the biopsy yet, but the Dr does not believe it is cancer that caused this.  The biopsy was just more of a precaution than anything else since he was already there.

The current status of my situation is this, in the Dr.'s words, "DO NOT SPEAK for a full 2 weeks."  Yep that is right, 2 weeks.  He actually recommended 3, but we will see how I feel after 2.  Cough has subsided so far. In the mean time, I have been working from home, as needed, via email for my full time job and have also found time blog and overhaul the look of this website.

Should you need to contact me about services, or have a general question, please used the following modes of communication to reach out to me through the end of the month: eMail, Text Message, Twitter, Facebook Messenger or Kik.  Yes, I said Kik, I will be testing out Kik for a short time to see what kind of interaction I get from potential clients and followers of my work.

Here is my contact info:

Mail:                     Magallon.Photography@yahoo.com

Text Message:  956-648-0064

Kik:                      Magallon.Photography

Facebook:          Facebook.com/MagallonPhotography

Twitter:              @MagallonPhotos

Please feel free to comment below and share my blog.  Let me know what you would like to see in future blogs.

Thanks for stopping by.

Hidden in the Dark

Model: Cyndar Magallon

Photoshop was not used to make this image, it was all done in camera.

Gear used: Canon XSi, Canon 18-55mm lens, tripos, flashlight

"Where is your studio located?"

I am often asked, “Where is your studio located?” to which I reply, “I don’t have one.”  The look on people’s faces when I say this is usually a confused look, or a look where their eyes say “Oh, you must not be that good then.”  It often baffles me that many potential clients assume a photographer must have a photo studio to be a “good photographer”.  The reality is this, there are many good, if not great, photographers that have no need for a studio or just cannot afford to own one.  Studios are great, but they are costly! I personally wish I could afford one myself, but I manage just fine without one. 

I would like to give the following advice to anyone that may have considered not hiring a photographer just because they don’t have a studio.  These bullet point should help you determine if the photographer you are considering is the right photographer for you.

 

1)      Ask to see a portfolio

It does not matter if a photographer has a studio, but even if they do, that does not guarantee they produce great images.  Ask to see images they have produce that are like the images you have in mind.  If you need a photographer for a: birthday party, concert, social event or portraits; ask to see those types of photos or something similar so you can know what to expect from them.  While one photographer can be great at, say, outdoor natural light photos that does not guarantee that they can also produce good indoor photos.  So ask them to show you a physical or digital portfolio.

 

2)      Schedule time to talk in person

I always do my best, to convince my potential clients, to meet in person so we can discuss details of what exactly they need from me.  Most of the time, when I get a call from a potential client, the first thing I am asked is “How much for (fill in the blank)?”  Of course, I do my best to answer the question by phone if they refuse to meet in person; but, I always find I need more information to give an exact quote.  As a result my quotes over the phone tend to be higher than quotes I provide in person.  The last thing I want to do I scare off my potential clients, but as the same time I do not want to set the expectation lower than what it may actually be.  Plus, get to know your photographer in person his/her personality may or may not be a fit for you.  I also strongly believe their personality will reflect on the final product.  I would even go as far as asking your photographer to describe their personal working style and style of photos they produce.

 

3)      Photography Equipment and other questions

While I do not expect you to know every camera and bit of equipment a photographer may be using, here are a few questions you should ask your photographer before signing a contract. 

·         Do you use professional equipment?

·         Do you have the equipment needed that will allow you to do what I need?

·         Do you have back up equipment should your primary equipment fail the day of?

·         Do you have an assistant that helps you with equipment the day I need you?

·         Are you the photographer that will photograph my session?

·         Do you have a backup photographer/plan should you not be able to make it to my session?

·         Do you require a deposit?

·         If my session needs more time than expected can you stay? Is there an additional charge?

·         What is your refund/cancelation policy?

·         If I need prints, what is your policy on printing myself or ordering prints from you?

 

4)      Get it in writing

Once you know you are going to hire a specific photographer, always, I REPEAT, ALWAYS get it in writing.  Do not give a photographer your hard earned money until after a contract is presented, signed and you fully agree to the terms. If there is something in a contract that you do not like, ask for it to be changed before signing.  A good photographer will always accommodate a reasonable request to change something on a contract.  Lastly, make sure you get a copy of the contract and a written receipt of payment from the photographer. If copies are not available for you at the time of signing, you can always request to use a smartphone camera to photography each page.

There are many other tips I could give you to follow before hiring a photographer. But, if you follow these 4 tips, at a minimum, you will be able to make a more informed decision vs hiring a photographer just because he owns a studio or has a low price.  I hope this helps anyone that is considering hiring a photographer. 

As always, thank you for stopping by and feel free to comment below.

 

-Mario

No studio needed.  Image created at night outdoors near a water fountain.

No studio needed.  Image created in a high school gym.

No studio needed.  Image created at clients home in living room.

No studio needed.  Created outdoors while holding in my hand using side walk as background.

No studio needed.  Created on my kitchen table.

New Site, New Blog

Well, here it is! 

My website has been updated with a new look. I never thought putting together an online portfolio would be such a challenge.  

I was asking myself, "What categories should I make for my portfolios?"   I thought to myself, "Maybe I will show off some celebration photos, pet photography, how about landscape and seascape photos... then there are product photos and fun project photos... oh and macro photos of insects. Wait, what about the flower photos and star photos... OH NO! I have too many categories to showcase."  Finally it came down to this, I simply asked myself what photos have I created that people love the most. I realized that it is not the ones of places that I have visited, things that I have seen or new photography techniques that I have learned.  No, none of those.  The photos that seem to get the most emotion from people that view my work or the photos of the people themselves.  So with that in mind, my online portfolio is all based on people and the things they love and the things that define who they are.

Once that decision was made, the biggest challenge came in the form of choosing what photos to post up.  Can you imagine sorting through over 40,000 images taken over several years, then trying to narrow it down to no more that 15 per portfolio category?  Well that is what I just wrapped up.  It was tough and time consuming, but I think I am now showing some of my best work of people.  I would love to hear your thoughts on the images I have selected, so feel free to comment below.

As you can tell, another addition to my page is this very blog that you are currently reading.  I plan on updating my blog a minimum of once per week to let everyone know what projects I am working on, which may or may not be people photography. I also post up tips and tricks on how to learn photography.

So, come back to MagallonPhotography.com for more blog entries.  Share what you see here to your social media pages and reach out to me if you ever have any questions.

Take care and thanks for stopping by.

-Mario