Thursday, March 27, 2008


As many of you know, I am the leader for the Los Angeles Pictage User Group. Last night's PUG was really fantastic. Every single person participated and we either shared something we learned at WPPI or shared a gadget or gizmo that we use at every wedding. I was thrilled with how much I learned!

Our speaker and Studio Spotlight was Roberto Valenzuela, a fantastic photographer who had 11 award winning prints (including first place for the "wedding photojournalism humor" category) and two award winning wedding albums at WPPI!

Roberto compared practicing music with practicing photography to become perfect. We were thrilled with the bit of music he played for us. His presentation was very thoughtful and chock-full of fantastic images and information.

One great thing about having the PUG in LA is that we have lots and lots of samples of the latest Pictage products. Last night we got to check out first hand their cool new "Art Books" now available for consumers!

Thank you to April Rocha for this cute pic of me facilitating the meeting.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Nashville PUG Group Shoot

So, I am probably posting this a little late. Considering this event took place last August. However, being we are currently in between wedding seasons, I have a little time to play with iMovie and use my poor knowledge of web-design to create a webpage for the group photo shoot the Nashville PUG had last summer.

If your PUG has not done a photo shoot together, I highly recommend it. It was a lot of work to put together, but it was the coolest things we have ever done.

Check out the video and some of the photos we took at:

- Peter Carlson / Dove Wedding Photography

San Francisco Bay Area February Meeting: How's Biz?

"see everyone, this is a TV. You can use it to while away all those endless summer hours that you would normally spend working, if there weren't all those other photographers out there stealing your clients."

Seriously, this month's PUG was really informative. We discussed the myth and reality of market saturation, how to survive in a busy market and how to build your business so that you aren't as susceptible to what "everyone else" is doing. We had a great variety of experience in our group, from photographers who have been around for 20+ years to people who just opened up shop this year, and everything in between. We discussed how important it is to understand who your prospective clients are to building a strong niche brand, and how being a part of the high end market isn't something you earn after "paying your dues" in the lower facets of the market; it's a strategy that affects everything from your pricing, to your image, to your customer service, to your shooting style. I was very happy to have a number of well spoken, intelligent, veteran photographers at the meeting who were all too happy to share what they've learned in their 10-20 years in business. Their comments really helped put things in perspective.

Stay tuned for the March meeting on Wednesday, March 26th at 630PM, in which we will have guest speaker Linda Russel from Mugshots Photography here to share her exciting new vision in documentary portrait and school photography. Linda will be encouraging the group to develop the portrait side of their business, and showing us how her model can offer every photographer an excellent recession-proof diversification of their income and marketing. Same bat-time, same bat-channel.

-by Lauren Cohn-Frankel, Cohn Frankel Photography. Photo by James Sanders.

Help grow our community! Leave a comment about why you come to the PUGs, something you learned at a meeting, or something you've accomplished thanks to the networking and educational opportunities the PUG meetings provide! Everyone who comments between now and March 25 will be entered in a drawing to win a cool mystery prize!*

*please make sure to leave your email address in your post to be eligible for the prize. Prize winner must attend a meeting of the San Francisco Bay Area PUG between March and May to claim prize

Saturday, March 8, 2008

TN PUG - March Meeting

A couple nights ago Nashville had another great PUG meeting. It was a lot of fun seeing the many new faces as well as some members we have not seen in quite some time.

Gregory Byerline was our feature photographer for the evening. He was kind enough to invite everyone to his studio in Downtown Nashville. Studio 219 is located in the historic Marathon Village. The building was once an auto assembly plant, which housed Marathon Motor Co. The long-abandoned building is now being converted to loft-style artist studios and commercial space. Gregory’s studio definitely has a cool vibe.

Gregory is a fashion photographer who brings his eye into the wedding market as well as family and pet portraitures. As you can see from the photos posted, Gregory loves dogs. His little Sundae joined us for the meeting. As you look through his portfolio you will find some amazing photos of canines mixed in with models and recognizable Nashville musicians.

Our guest speaker for the night was Phil Thornton of Thornton Photo. Phil is a free-lance web designer for large commercial companies as well as a wedding photographer. He knows a LOT about search engine optimization and was very willing to share some of his knowledge with the group. He explained his love/hate relation with Flash-based websites. He loves how they are visually stunning and the perfect first impression for potential clients. He hates that they are horrible for when it comes to utilizing search engines. He also leaked out that in his “free time” he is working on a photography website that will end this dilemma. We will defiantly let you know when his sites are available for purchase.

Phil looking very professor like.

LinkSundae listening to Phil’s presentation very intently.

- Peter Carlson / Dove Wedding Photography