In the world of professional photography, contests and awards can sometimes leave you scratching your head.
Through the years I have found myself on both sides of the winner’s circle, from first place all the way out to “Thank you, please try again.”.
Even as my business has grown, photography contests and the recognition of having someone say that my photos are actually good is always out there. It’s just this non-stop attractive distraction.
Every photographer wants to be told that they are a good photographer every now and then by someone other than their own mother. (Thanks, Mom!)
One of my favorite things about this job is the inherent duality of the product. On the one hand, it’s work and it’s straight forward and it’s a means to an end.
And then, on the other hand, it’s art and it’s purely creative and it can even be a little magical at times.
The truth is that the people I get to work with and for are the real judges. Every single shoot is another entry in the ongoing photography contest.
That’s why I am so proud and excited to write this post about being named “Best Photographer” by the readers of Living Magazine (Las Colinas/Coppell Edition).
This is the kind of recognition that reminds me who I’m shooting for . . . and why.
There are so many photographers out there and more than a few ways to approach the combination of the artistic and the functional.
It sure is wonderful to hear from a local publication that their readers have been polled and decided that my approach was deemed their favorite.
Makes me want to go out and take some pictures . . . for the shear joy of it.
Thank You –
To all who voted and continue to “vote” for me by hiring me and telling your friends about me.
By far, the coolest thing about this job is the people I get to shoot. The Clients. All of their emotions. The strength and the vulnerability. And the love. God Bless the Love!
This session was so much fun. Angela and I went to high school together and became even better friends years later through social media. She worked hard to get in shape and was ready to strut her stuff.
Engagement Sessions usually overflow with love and affection, and this was no exception. Just look at these two souls. They can hardly wait to say “I do” to each other.
Her man, Damon, is awesome. It’s been such a pleasure getting to know him better with each new photoshoot.
He’s got his hands full, for sure, but this guy’s cool and confident. No worries here.
Move along. Nothing more to see here. XOXOXO
It’s so obvious with these two – they seem to have found each other at the perfect time.
I can’t say enough about Downtown Grapevine either. How fantastic is this place?
Shop windows, brick facades, wrought iron benches, beautiful planters and festive lights galore.
This is a couple with everything in front of them. The future is their’s to create.
Now we just have to figure out how to get them to stop kissing . . .
If I’ve learned anything at all doing this job, it can be summed up in a few simple notions . . .
Have your gear ready and stay alert. The magic happens quickly and not at all when you expected it.
Consider kneepads. Get down on the ground and see what’s really happening.
Trying to pose kiddos is futile and not that much fun anyway. Follow their lead.
Some places have extra magic. Identify and remember them. (Bishop Arts is more than just good food.)
When someone wants you to shoot their important event, you say “Yes”.
Did I mention that kids are awesome to work with, but impossible to predict?
The most interesting shots are not the “static set-ups”. Quite the contrary – it’s the random candid pic that almost didn’t happen which stirs the imagination.
True Love will always be photogenic. Point and shoot. Nothing more to it.
Details, details and a few more of those beautiful details.
A huge “Thank You” to my amazing clients. Your continued support means everything.
Thanks guys! It was fun trying to keep the camera steady while braving the wind and holding the canister of doggy treats with the other hand.
I agree! Trimming this image down and focusing on the Birthday Girl and the balloon makes it really interesting.
Thank you! That was a beautiful location and such a wonderful evening. It was an honor to be invited to shoot the event. Congratulations!
Now that the Holidays are over and most of the football games have been played,
I felt like taking a look back at 2014. I sure did snap a whole lotta pictures. Most were pretty good (IMHO).
A few of the images, however, were pretty darn good. Here are some of my favorites.
Children’s playful and smiling laughter . . .
Newly formed families creating special memories . . .
Beautifully colorful and emotional celebrations . . .
Fun-loving return clients that have become friends . . .
Long-time friends that have supported me from before the beginning . . .
Bold adventurers excitedly stepping out into the unknown . . .
Gleefully unencumbered innocence . . .
Families blending together in happiness . . .
Fatherhood . . .
Motherhood . . .
And a ton of awesome clients.
Thanks for your trust and confidence. It’s so much fun shooting you guys.
Summer is over and only the memories remain.
Fortunately, I love capturing and preserving memories.
It’s what I do for a living, after all.
You may have noticed I took a little time for the things that matter most these past few months.
Not to worry! I’m back and ready to go.
Although my business is primarily divided between family portraiture and event photography, I am occasionally commissioned to shoot business headshot images. It’s an art form that I truly enjoy for two main reasons . . .
1. Unlike a true portrait, the images must convey confidence and trustworthiness in a concisely drawn presentation. That part is straightforward and relatively easy. The trick, however, is to avoid losing the subject’s actual personality along the way.
2. As the photographer, you only have a very short time to make the magic happen. Most headshot sessions are jammed in between board meetings and power lunches. These people are super busy and don’t have time to spend the entire afternoon posing. I enjoy that “on-the-clock” aspect of the session. Everything comes into focus quickly . . . it has to.
Take a look at the newly redesigned website for the Richard A. Gump Jr. Law Firm. It looks fantastic. They made great use of my headshot and group imagery. They were really fun to work with as well.
Part of being a professional photographer in Dallas, Texas means every Spring you shoot thousands of beautiful families frolicking and having fun in the bluebonnets, right?
That’s what I thought too. I was ready to deliver the bad news to the late-comers that I was all booked up and simply would not have time to work them in. Barely enough time to eat.
But, outside of a few wonderful clients nobody came knocking. My website never even crashed beneath the digital strain of the sudden and overwhelming bandwidth overload.
And I’m convinced that it’s not for lack of quality. Hey, I’ve taken some pretty good bluebonnet pictures in my time. Just ask around.
True, the flowers haven’t been quite as brilliant this Spring. But, they’re still out there. We can’t all live in Ennis.
No, that’s not it.
My theory is that, for whatever reason, it’s just not as popular as it was a few years ago. I guess everyone is just blue-bonneted out.
Spring is here and in Dallas, Texas that means it’s time to go outside and have some fun. In Big “D” you gotta tip-toe through the tulips while you can, because three fat months of hotter-than-hot temperatures are just waiting around the corner.
March and April have it going on, though. Just look around Dallas and you’ll see flowers of all shapes and sizes blooming everywhere.
From the Dandelions and Tulips of “Dallas Blooms” at The Dallas Arboretum to the spontaneous spectacle of Bluebonnets that grace the fields and roadsides each year, Dallas has a love affair with Spring Flowers.
There is no better time to gather the family together and have some professional portraits taken.
Please contact me today to schedule your family’s session. The calendar is filling up and like the beautiful flowers that only hang around for a few weeks – these specialized session offerings won’t last either.
As a photographer and small business owner, there are plenty of long lonely days editing and working on images.
There’s the energetic rush of the shoot and the thrill of meeting with clients. That is probably the best part of the profession.
But, one of the coolest things . . . for me, at least . . . is still seeing “Ben O’Neal Photography” on my cards or website or somewhere else. There is a sense of pride knowing that you are working hard and delivering quality imagery to your clients. And it has your name on it.
That’s why I am super excited to make the transition from burned CDs to personalized USB Drives as the primary means of image delivery.
Clients will now be receiving their pictures on a self-contained USB drive with the Ben O’Neal Photography logo beautifully etched on one side and the website address etched upon the reverse.
Burned CDs are so 2011. From here on out, it’s personalized thumb drives for all.
I couldn’t be happier with these little beauties ordered from Photo Flash Drive. I highly recommend them and their excellent service and order delivery time. (Kudos on a job well done.)