Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Dance Mania

Ballet – Jazz- Modern – Tap – Hip Hop – Lyrical…Many styles of dance and we photograph them all during our week at Encore Studio of Performing Arts. 

Its the week leading up to recitals and we’ve practically moved the entire studio out to Encore for 5 days of dance portraits and fun.  If you have an Encore student and you haven’t been out yet for dance portraits, there’s still a couple days left.  Check out a few of the images we’ve created during our first couple days…

Monday, April 6, 2009

A New Season...a New Opportunity to Save

Spring has finally arrived full force and with our Bunny portrait event behind us, we're now looking forward to the upcoming Senior portrait season. But before we do, I wanted to let you all know of a couple great portrait opportunities for the month of April!

First...with the trees beginning the process of greening up and with the flowers blooming and the grass a-growin'...now is the PERFECT time to schedule a Family portrait Session. Whether you are looking to fill that empty place on the wall over your sofa or mantle, or if you are just looking for a few portraits for gifts, you won't find a better time of year to create the family portrait you've always wanted. And better yet...I'm going to give you a great deal to make it even easier...

Schedule your Family portrait Session before the end of April and we'll apply the entirety of your $95 session fee towards your portrait order! Your session fee will become a down-payment towards your order and as a result, when you place your family portrait order...Your Session becomes FREE!

Have a certificate for a FREE family portrait session already? No Problem!!! Have your session during the month of April also, and we'll give you a FREE 8x10 portrait with your Collection purchase.

This offer is only available to families who have their session during the month of April and place their family portrait order by May 15th, 2009.




Team Composites

Soccer, Baseball, or any other spring Team sports....this is the time to gather the team together and have one of these One-of-a-kind composites made. Please call the studio to ask about what it takes to put together one of these incredibly fun shoots. Once we get to the end of April, our schedule begins to fill up with Senior portraits and leaves us little free time on the calendar to do these, so call now to get your team in before all our available time slots are filled.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

This Sounds Impossible


It was fun, it was crazy. 1 year old twins and 2 rabbits. This sounds impossible just on paper. It worked out with 1 person per girl and 1 person for the bunnies. I had the easy job of staying behind the camera. Thank you Melinda, for a great session.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Spring has sprung...

Spring is arriving, and with it comes our annual Spring Holiday Portrait Event. Similar to our Christmas event, we have set aside 4 days at the end of March specifically to photograph your children in their Easter finest. As always, we'll have on hand one or more bunnies too.

We've also created a special discounted price list especially for this event. At no other time can you receive a classic Commonwealth portrait at prices this low. Appointments are being scheduled now and they won't last long, since we've only set aside 4 days for this event (March 26-27 and March 30-31.)

Call the studio today for pricing and availability of sessions. This event only comes around once a year...don't let this opportunity pass you by.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, etc...

After what seems like...years...of dismay over the lack of proper winter weather here in Central Virginia, here comes Ol' Man Winter himself to remind us what it's like. And in March, no less. Roughly Six inches of snow was our overnight gift in Chester and doesn't it look incredible. Of course, it does have the tendency to throw some kinks into the schedule, but then, what is life without a little adversity.



I managed to wend my way into the studio this morning, even given the condition of many of the roads I was forced to traverse...and after arriving took a few moments to walk around with camera in hand to capture this rare seasonal occurrance (or rare of late anyway). Figured I'd get those images before I began the herculean task of brushing/shoveling off the walkways.





For those of you in the area, enjoy the snow while its around...build a snowman, make a snow angel, find a nice hill to do some sledding...these events don't come often.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Update on Competition

Well print judging is over and went very well. James got 5 out of 6 blue ribbon prints, Julia got 4 out of 6, and Jeff got 5 out of 6 with one getting a score of 95. One of the highest score of the competition and Jeff's highest score ever. Tonight is the awards banquet. James will be getting his AFP Degree(associate fellow of photography), which is a multi-year accomplishment. Jeff is up for several awards, but we will have to wait and see. May people ask about how our competition works. Each year we can submit up to 6 prints or albums in a variety of catigories, such as Portrait of a Woman, Man, High School Senior, Wedding Candid, Group, Illustrative, Commercial, Electronic Art, ect... The images are then judged by a panel of 6 judges that are outside of our organization. The prints are judged on 12 elements(listed below) that are set by the Professional Photographers of Amer. The scores range from 0-100. 80 is the magic number. This means that that print is of exceptional quality and is worthy of recognition. 95% of the prints entered are between 77-83. This year there were 411 prints entered at the state level. Tonight should be a fun night. We will keep you posted on the outcome.

The Twelve elements listed below are in accordance to their importance.

Impact is the sense one gets upon viewing an image for the first time. Compelling images evoke laughter, sadness, anger, pride, wonder or another intense emotion. There can be impact in any of these twelve elements.

Creativity is the original, fresh, and external expression of the imagination of the maker by using the medium to convey an idea, message or thought.

Technical excellence is the print quality of the image itself as it is presented for viewing. Retouching, manipulation, sharpness, exposure, printing, mounting, and correct color are some items that speak to the qualities of the physical print.

Composition is important to the design of an image, bringing all of the visual elements together in concert to express the purpose of the image. Proper composition holds the viewer in the image and prompts the viewer to look where the creator intends. Effective composition can be pleasing or disturbing, depending on the intent of the image maker.

Lighting—the use and control of light—refers to how dimension, shape and roundness are defined in an image. Whether the light applied to an image is manmade or natural, proper use of it should enhance an image.

Style is defined in a number of ways as it applies to a creative image. It might be defined by a specific genre or simply be recognizable as the characteristics of how a specific artist applies light to a subject. It can impact an image in a positive manner when the subject matter and the style are appropriate for each other, or it can have a negative effect when they are at odds.

Print Presentation affects an image by giving it a finished look. The mats and borders used should support and enhance the image, not distract from it.

Center of Interest is the point or points on the image where the maker wants the viewer to stop as they view the image. There can be primary and secondary centers of interest. Occasionally there will be no specific center of interest, when the entire scene collectively serves as the center of interest.

Subject Matter should always be appropriate to the story being told in an image.

Color Balance supplies harmony to an image. An image in which the tones work together, effectively supporting the image, can enhance its emotional appeal. Color balance is not always harmonious and can be used to evoke diverse feelings for effect.

Technique is the approach used to create the image. Printing, lighting, posing, capture, presentation media, and more are part of the technique applied to an image.

Story Telling refers to the image’s ability to evoke imagination. One beautiful thing about art is that each viewer might collect his own message or read her own story in an image.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Competition Time

Last weekend I had the privilege to be a judge at South Carolina's state photography convention. This week each of us are putting together our best 6 prints to enter into our state convention starting on Fri the 20th. We have looked through thousands of portraits to pull out the best 6. Competition is a great learning experience. While the judges are usually very tough, it teaches you to be more critical of your work. I'll let you know how we did in a later post.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Senior Slide Shows

Here are a few samples from this past years sessions.
video video video video video video

Getting Closer

The construction is almost complete!!! This week,clean up began and on Friday the top coat of asphalt was put down. Now it's time for the small details like cleaning and sealing the sidewalk. A great "Thank You" goes out to Wade Construction for their excellent work. They have my highest recommendation.



Monday, January 26, 2009

Free Sports Composites






For just over a year now, we have been designing sports composites for the varsity teams in the area. They are part of our senior portrait promotion program. It is one way of saying "Thanks" to the seniors that we have already photographed and also a way for the up coming seniors to learn about us. During the month of February we will be doing 3 team composites for FREE! Give up a call to find out info for scheduling. 748-5861

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Welcome ... Let's See What We Do With This

Welcome to our new blog. This will be a big mix. Everything from business specials, behind the scenes of CP(commonwealth photography), to even a look into our personal lives. We will try to keep things updated every couple of days, so check back often.

As Jan. is nearing it's end we have been staying busy creating new marketing ideas and new looks for the upcoming year. One new look that we are getting a lot of questions about is the construction around the building. When we bought the building 6 years ago, we had to have it rezoned from residential to commercial. Part of that process is submitting a sight plan that shows parking and wheelchair access. The county was very nice and let us open with a temporary occupancy permit. This gave us the chance to get up and running before taking on the expense of the project. The job started in Nov. and was held up for little reasons here and there. When it came time to do the asphalt, the weather turned on us. Because it is in the right of way, everything must be done to VDOT specs. This means that rain and cold temperatures made things come to a halt. We have a base coat down and now we are waiting for one more warm day(over 50) to do the top coat of asphalt. This job has been in the plans for a long time and it will be nice to see it finished.

Please keep in touch with us and let me know your thoughts on our new Blog. We are also updating our records with everyone's e-mail addresses. One of our goals this year is to keep in touch through e-newsletters( I promise we are not going to be obnoxious about it). So drop us a line at jeff@commonwealthphoto.com with your email address.


Late Nov.


Jan. 23