El Pescado Billfish Tournament

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A couple weeks ago I got to do a great gig, make a little money, donate a little money and time, travel, and have a blast, all for a good cause. The El Pescado Billfish tournament in St. Augustine has been run by the Monique Burr Foundation for a few years now. The foundation was started by Monique Burr’s husband Ed Burr after her passing for the goal of raising money to help prevent child abuse. Something Monique was extremely passionate for. This year alone the foundation raised over $151,000.00 with a large portion coming from a check over $40,000.00 from the first time tournament winner, Ed Burr, donating his grand prize check. My second camera and video came from a good friend and excellent photographer Aaron Snell who fit in well with the fisherman, that what he does. We met some amazing people on this trip and hospitality from the organization was second to none. While I’m at it I would like to thank Sammy Vaughn and whole crew from “Lor-A-Di” for letting us on their boat to film and photograph fishing. That was a very gracious act, as these boats are fighting for winnings in the tens of thousands and spending anywhere from $1,000 – $3,000 in fuel A DAY! Standing “O” for those guys!
To the photo talk, well, this was supposed to be event coverage and very simple. Get the people mingling, a fish jumping, and a winning team with a big check in their hand. Yeah, its never that easy now is it? The situation that made the most work for Aaron and I is… well, Aaron and I. We are both perfectionist. We both are trying to get something never seen, to tell a story from an angle other than ‘spectator.’ Although it made us work more, its what makes us work to begin with. Kudos to us! We got some amazing shots.

The gear list was rather large and in the end we we’re able to cut it down a little before leaving. Our hotel looked like a Command Center and slowly migrated to the adjacent building where the event was taking place which at the end looked like Command Center. The main gear consisted of an iMac with accessories, Macbook Pro, 500gb HD, a 160gb HD, and a 100gb HD. The photography was done with a Nikon D700, Nikon D300, Nikon 24-70/2.8, 70-300VR, 20/2.8, 35/2, 50/1.8, and a Tokina 12-24/4. Add to that 4 memory cards, 5 filters, a grip battery pack, 4 batteries, two SB-900’s and every cord those goes with them and you have an entire vehicle/hotel room/conference area worth of what tallied to about $13,000 worth of gear. This may be a couple hours shoot worth of gear for a videographer but for primarily event photography with no studio flashes or stands, ITS A TON! Add to that Panasonic HD video camera, Sony SD video, and two GoPro HDhero’s and i’m damn thankful I made a check list!

We had to shoot all of the event with stills and cover some speeches and awards with video all the while running a slideshow on Plasma TV’s at the event. The slideshow had to be constantly updated with the last events photos. We were shooting, making library’s upstairs on the iMac, sifting for selects, then putting them onto the slideshow software on the Macbook pro without cutting into the time guests would see the photos. And most of this happened while a new event was going on. It was 3 days of on the run shooting that couldn’t have been anymore fun. We got to talk to all the guests and use a few downtime minutes talking fishing and drinking a few beers with the crews. Since there is way more on here than most will care about, here is what came from all that work, Enjoy the slideshow. JP

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Elite Automation: Leg One… (pun intended)


The most recent shoot was for a local company, Elite Automation, who specialize in the installation of high end audio, video, and home automation. This is a shoot for product but not of product. Usually when you shoot for a restaurant you take pictures of food. Well, taking pictures of speakers and TV’s doesn’t do much more than a home owner going to the Best Buy website. The product here is something that can’t be bought in stores. Its a feeling, a level way above ‘out-of-the-box,’ and as state of the art as one could possibly purchase. They will take all your remotes, program them to one new remote, that now runs your Apple TV, pulls the blinds down, drops the AC a notch, and tucks you in when the movie is over 😉 Oh and did I mention when you turn the remote on that the speakers come out of the ceiling and angle themselves towards you?

We shot one of the nicer houses that have taken all the bells and whistles. Its also one of the nicest houses I’ve ever seen in Key West, although its way to modern to be considered ‘Key West.’ The setting had to be simple as the products are to use, but have a architecture that speaks volumes… let the puns roll! The setting was a nice set of legs, some expensive standing decorations and a simple, modern, and uncluttered setting. In the end we have a few things happening without much happening at all. Some of the unique design elements were captured  as to be inviting but not to much clutter to wonder you all over the place. A touch of sex appeal, with a possibility of room for one more?-)

This is the first setting in a campaign of modern lifestyle shoots to come in the near future. Enjoy, JP

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Bartab Bikini Shoot

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The first shoot was for the 4th Annual Bartab Bikini issue was April Dubois. We were lucky enough to be escorted to the Island of Boca Grande on a 55 Sea Ray. Usually I have to put my gear in some sort of hatch, with mildew, a layer of water on the floor, or out in the open to the elements. Not on this thing! We through enough gear on the deck to sink my boat with enough room for the whole crew to lounge, listen to tunes and throw back some brews. It was a great shoot and one of my favorite beaches.

Technically there is not much to talk about. I Shot them all with the Nikon D700. The shot in the mangroves was with the Zeiss 100mm with one SB-900 shot through a tri-grip. The two with the sun as the backlight were filled with a single SB-900 off camera for fill. And the shot on the boat was naturally lit (all three shot with the 50mm/1.8). Hope you enjoy the photos, JP.

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The Heist – Unofficial

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Before I begin their is a disclaimer. These are not the printed images. The Heist is this made up drug deal bikini photo shoot that was printed in “BARTAB” magazine locally hear in Key West. Michael Marrero and myself plotted this script, beat Larry (BarTab owner) till he had no choice to but to let us get our way, then shot it all in one very tiring day. The main issue was printed, facebooked, and behind the scenes shown.

This one just happened to be one shoot were I had less of an editing role, which is usually 150%. That being said, I wanted to throw out some of the alternates since others have been shown. I had a lot of fun editing these and making them into a sweaty, high contrast, bad-ass chicks plot to kill and steal. I hope you enjoy the edits. Check out “BarTab” magazine for the official printed version. Out, JP.

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Bokeh in Color

Bokeh is the term used to describe the out of focus rendition of a lens. It is, a lot of the time, the most important aspect of buying a lens as it makes images more pleasing. In most images Continue reading

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Only In Key West

Last night was one of those nights were I felt like I went everywhere in town looking for photos I came home with nothing. I had left Duval and the Harbor walk on my way home. I passed a good friends trailer park took at look at this seen i’ve probably seen 100 times. As I was half a block past it occurred to me what a great photo it could be. I pulled up, took a couple shots and didn’t really like what I was getting. After about 30 seconds a car pulled up passed and around me and as they started to break the red lights started shining across the scene. I had about 5-10 seconds to get the shot. This is not the best example ever but it is impossible with anything but the D700. 50mm f/2.2, 1/20th handheld. Enjoy, JP (visit personal blog here)

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Doing it for Free


I can’t think of an interview more straightforward and to the point than this one. In the industry we’re in, meaning the artistic, creative, make something-outta-nothing industry of painters, writers, photographers, media makers, play writers, directors and so forth its very difficult if not impossible to get our audience to realize the value of the work we are producing. Not to say that we don’t have countless fans, people like you reading our posts and getting excited about our photographs, we get compliments on a daily basis about how first rate our products are and even requests to purchase photos.

The biggest problem in our industry is getting people to pay us to use the creative abilities that made them seek us out in the first place. And then once the product is created for some reason its not realized that we should be paid for that material to be used. You will hear more than enough about that in this video of an interview of writer Harlan Ellison. If you have sensitive ears you might want to skip it.

The video touches on (or knocks out) the point of an article I posted on not too long ago about why you should hire a professional photographer. And its silly to us how so many companies will pay thousands of dollars in rent, or millions of dollars for structures, put their whole life’s work into a product or service, then have the accountants sister take pictures of the building, or the chef take pictures of the food that they charge $30 a plate for. Then their are the “professional photographers” that will travel 200 miles to give you a whole day shoot for $1000 with usage fees and travel included! And to that point I say shame on them! Its these people in the modern age where everyone has a digital camera that real work gets its value stolen by those who aren’t brave enough to charge what they are worth. And to that I say they aren’t worth much. You get what you pay for.

As the story goes… when Henry Ford hired an engineer to help him place the exhaust for his then ‘new’ automobile the engineer looked at the diagram and simply drew an X where our car exhaust is today and sent a bill for $100,000. When he was asked by Henry Ford to explain the bill he said simply, ok, $1 to draw the X and the balance was from the countless experience he had to know where to place it.

This is exactly why we no longer charge for a day or an hour. We charge a creative fee. For people who know what they are doing can do things much quicker than those who don’t. We charge you for knowledge and experience, we are not equipment. I’m done with my rant, listen to his.

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