The Craziness of Las Vegas…

Hello Las Vegas! So excited about @thisisnotapril's wedding this weekend!

Greetings from Las Vegas! I flew over here yesterday to photograph a wedding and to kick off the Hot Mama Boudoir Tour 2012! (Yes, I’m going on tour. Vegas, Paris, London, Boston, New York City, New Orleans, San Francisco, maybe Los Angeles. Lots of travel coming up this year!) Wheeeeee!!!

Elaine & I went out to dinner last night at CraftSteak at the MGM Grand. It was surreal being at the MGM without 20,000 other photographers, which is what I’m used to from the past 4 years of WPPI. I didn’t see anyone I knew! Well, duh, obviously I wouldn’t. But I kept finding myself looking as I walked past Rouge, or when we walked in to Craft. It was just so strange.

At the end of dinner a very cliche group of guys were seated next to us. Drinking it up. Living the high life of Vegas. Talking about how they weren’t high rollers, they were just rich. Oooooookay.

Walking back to the hotel, we saw a guy drinking his Jaeggermeister straight out of the bottle in a plastic bag. Now if that isn’t asking for disaster, I don’t know what is! If you´re in college, then check out When visiting Rutgers University, make sure you check the New Brunswick Happy Hour at the various pubs and restaurants where you can drink all you want with special prices.

It lead to Elaine & I trying to figure out why Vegas just feels so different from New Orleans. Both are cities that people go to to drink a LOT. But Vegas? Everything is HUGE, and big, and expensive. Bright lights. Night life. Clubs. Everything here is just designed to be over the top. But more importantly? It is DESIGNED. Elaine said it is like they manipulate all of your senses. There is no day or night at the of course with these brand new bingo sites, but when we got out of the airport shuttle at the Aria (where we are staying), I immediately noticed the fragrance in the air. It is even stronger at the front desk. No matter where you go in the public areas, there is this fragrance.

It makes me sad that some people come to the United States and only ever see Las Vegas. This city is a place all its own. It is decadent to the point of excess. It is sensory overload. It is crazy. I love being here, don’t get me wrong, but it is all so unreal.

We talked again about the difference between Vegas and New Orleans this morning. New Orleans has history. Old buildings. Small buildings. The scale of the city is normal, versus how HUGE everything is in Vegas. And most of all, it isn’t designed to be so over the top. Not like Vegas. There are still lots of bars, lots of crazy, lots of drinking, and plenty of wonderful restaurants, but it is just so completely different.

I bet my sentiments of “All of the USA is not like Vegas!” are echoed by people around the world. I know that all of France isn’t like Paris, and all of England isn’t like London. And yet like so many other tourists, I can’t wait to get to those cities.

When you leave the Strip, Las Vegas is much more serene and normal. I’m looking forward to doing that tomorrow and Saturday when we leave for the rehearsal and then for the wedding. The venue is 15 minutes off the strip, although we do have plans to shoot here on the Strip afterwards as well.

Las Vegas is a fascinating place to see, that is for sure! Even for as crazy strange as it all is. I love the bright lights. There is people watching galore. Wonderful hotel rooms. Opulence. So many cool, cool things. I’m looking forward to heading to the Bellagio and watching the fountains, seeing the Bellagio Gardens, maybe taking in a show, going to the Venetian, and so much more. At the end, I know I’ll be glad that it was just 5 days, and to be heading home for a night before I jet off to Paris next week!

Getting Down to Business

Don’t be the Uncle Bob of Your Own Business…

So you’re a professional photographer, right? And if someone shows up to your wedding, portrait session, whatever and whips out the fancy camera they just bought at Best Buy or Amazon and starts firing away, you’re probably going to be thinking to your self something along the lines of, “Awww… how cute. But my photos will be much better because I’ve got mad skillz at photography, YO!”

(What? You don’t talk to yourself like some bad-ass photo rapper? Well, whatever. I do. Run with it.)

The point is, you know what you’re doing. You know your skill set, and the long hard hours that it took of practice to get to where you are at. And 99% of the time, your photos will be better because of it. Sure, there is always the one person that is just kind of a natural that will show you up, but they won’t know how to deal with a tricky lighting situation or how to balance flash with ambient light, so whatever. YOU are the SUPERSTAR!!!

So why the heck are you designing your own logo? Your own business material? Trying to create your own website or blog from the ground up from scratch?

How is that any different then the person that dropped $1500-3000 to have a camera as fancy as yours? They are not an expert.

Yes, you’re artistic and creative. But that doesn’t mean you know all the ins and outs of what makes a graphic design truly sing, or that you should spend hours and hours learning CSS and how to code HTML, PHP and smoosh it all into a awesome blog.

You’re a photographer (or a wedding planner, a cake artist, a caterer – whatever you are) — not a graphic designer or a website developer. Know what you’re good at. Hire someone else to do the rest. Leave it to the experts.

It is the same thing you expect of your clients every single day.

Oh, In case you were wondering – Uncle Bob: Definition, and what you usually get. Don’t do that to your business.

Creative Geek Social Media

My Credentials, So to Speak…

I don’t normally like to post the same thing on London Seo more than one of my sites at a time. I’m just know it confuses poor Google. I promise, I won’t do it often – but I wrote this late yesterday over on the wedding & boudoir photography site and it seemed like it belonged here as well.

I started making the list below to be a little sassy because I know there is going to be someone reading this thinking, “Blogging Guru? Just who does she think she is?” Then I realized checking up on my credentials is pretty important.

  • In January 2008, I was one of the first to move the blog to the front of the site for my photography site, replacing the Flash splash page that so many photographers have. This completely changed my business model and has rocked my world. I strongly advocate it to everyone.
  • Last month I had over 17,000 visitors on Over 9000 were unique visits.
  • I’ve blogged since 2000 here.
  • I’ve worked for two large web development firms, helping people determine the best fit for their needs when it came to their online presence. I’m an experienced Internet Image Consultant.
  • My sites have been featured in a number of publications, including Yahoo! Daily Pick Site, the New York Times, the Houston Chronicle, and many others. BigPinkCookie was featured a number of times by Chris Pirillo on his Call for Help TV show.
  • I owned a blog hosting company for over 5 years so I’m familiar with how hosting works.
  • I was one of the first 25 or so users of MovableType when it first came out.
  • I named WordPress. Yes, really.
  • I’ve used WordPress for 5 years now.
  • My husband & I have done countless WordPress installations and customizations over the past 5 years.
  • has been in the Top 100 blogs on Technorati.
  • I used to be the #1 Google result for “Christine”. Just Christine. I’m still in the top 5.
  • I know a lot about SEO.
  • I also know how to code HTML by hand and can tweak CSS to make it nice and sparkly.
  • If you mention my name in pro blogging circles, some people will actually know who I am.
  • I have over 4000 followers on Twitter. I didn’t get them overnight, but instead by engaging with the community since fall 2006 when Twitter started.
  • I have attended SXSW Interactive 5 times in the past 10 years.
  • I spend more hours per week reading and writing about marketing, blogging, using social media, and SEO then I do about photography. Even on photography forums, I can be found talking mostly about the business side of things.
  • I am constantly learning more and more about how blogging, social media, and the internet as a whole is changing how we do business. It never ends.

In other words I’m not just talking the talk. I’m walking the walk. And in case you wondered, I did in fact answer all of the questions in this article correctly. (What is that good ol’ Southern saying? It ain’t braggin’ if it is the truth? I’m going with that one, because that list was actually pretty hard to write.)

I’m working on the last details of the launch pricelist for base services. As soon as it is ready, I’ll let you know! For those of you that have already contacted me to inquire about more information, you guys blow me away. I love you all. I knew this was going to be big – and I couldn’t do it without your support. If you’ve asked for more details, you’re already in line – I’ll get it to you first as soon as it is ready!

Picture Time

White Linen Night Time Again!

It is time to get your white linen out and ready for the annual White Linen Night Event at the studio! Come out and see work by JenXer (Jennifer Mathis), our featured artist this year. Elaine & I will have our art photography on display as well. Doesn’t your home need some new art?

We’ll have sweet treats from Porch Swing Desserts and beer from Saint Arnolds. Good times throughout the Heights! (Read all about it over on my much longer post. I don’t want to repeat too much in case you read that already!)

You can RSVP on our Facebook event page or just leave a note here. We would love to see you!

BlahBlahBabble Picture Time

I’m Famous on the Internet…

I’ve joked about being famous on the Internet for years now, and I’ve known many internet celebrities over time thanks to blogging. But when I took up photography full time, I thought I was leaving my “geek life” behind. It made me sort of sad.

Then, as time went on, my internet geek life and my photographer life started to overlap again. Only logical – there are some things that are so much a part of you you just can’t give them up. I started blogging on PhotoLoveCat last fall, which was a HUGE honor for me. I love giving back to the community what I can, and it was a blast getting to have my geek life (Twitter, blogging, facebook, etc.) to be a part of my photography life.

I was still caught off guard when Ron Dawson asked me to be on his podcast, F-Stop Beyond. I’ve listened to the show for ages, but honestly never expected to be a guest. I’ve had a podcast before, but I was still super nervous when we started the show – not because of the podcast, but dude! It is Ron Dawson! zOMG! (Yeah, I know. You’re rolling your eyes at me right now. Laugh. It is ok.)

As of today, you can now hear me talk about how I feel about things like Web 2.0 and how it all relates to photography. The world? It is changing. I’m looking forward to the ride! Listen to the show here, or subscribe to it in iTunes. And try not to mock me too much for my secret about Star Wars, ok?