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.
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.
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.
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.)
Photographers can’t help it. We’re all wired to compare. Always comparing and evaluating.
The light looks better over by the window. Or, maybe out on the deck. But, what about over by the porch awning? Comparing and evaluating.
Every professional photographer spends time watching and admiring other pros and their imagery too. It’s just the nature of the game. It can be a bit depressing sometimes when you feel like you are in a rut and it seems like every one else around you has a camera and is filling galleries with delighted admirers and being commissioned to shoot Fashion shows and Rock Concerts and Sofia the First themed Birthday Parties.
They say that the only other photographer you should compare yourself to is . . . yourself.
Sounds great, huh? A little healthy respect and admiration of those who came before you seems appropriate. It helps to motivate and inspire.
The only catch is that someone forgot to mention that lil’ mantra to the client. For good or for bad, clients are going to have past experiences that they will bring along with them. Maybe they just moved and want to find another photographer with the same love of empty fields and vintage couches. Maybe they were burned by their last photographer because she included all 639 images from their “Summer in the Park” session on the CD and they still haven’t been able to choose which one to print. Or you could be wrapping up the initial meeting with a new corporate client and as the contact person walks you to the door, she casually mentions that she hopes you are better than the last event photographer, because everyone thought he was a bit too “creepy.” Ouch.
The good news – I consider that one of the coolest parts of this crazy adventure. If ever I wanted to make a truly lasting impression . . . gear up and get ready.
Every time I meet with a new client and we get ready to shoot some pictures, I get the chance to write a new chapter to their collective photographic experience.
Who cares what happened before . . . let’s go make some magic in the here and now.
Okay, it’s only a little over a week until Christmas and you still haven’t gotten your mother a single thing. You’re stumped . . . dumbfounded . . . stupefied. What do you give the person who seemingly has everything?
An iPad? No, too techie.
A motorcycle? No, too butch.
An XBox 360? No, she’s already got one.
And don’t even think about getting her another Snuggly. How warm and unfashionable does one person really need to be, after all?
No, what she really wants is a picture of the entire family to hang on the wall.
This Christmas, give that special someone a Gift Certificate from Ben O’Neal Photography . . . the gift that will keep on giving for years to come.
Contact Ben O’Neal for details.
It’s the week before Thanksgiving and the leaves are finally starting to change here in North Texas. This is my favorite time of the year for many reasons – College Football, Apple Pie, Harvest Seasonal Beers, Cooler Temperatures and all of the Holidays packed one after the other. Now is the time that everyone really starts stressing about Christmas. What to buy, what to wish for, what to eat, what to wear, what to hang on the front door. The last thing you want to worry about is your family Christmas Card pictures.
This year, I have decided not to offer a traditional “Christmas Card Mini Session”. I know – it sounds like crazy talk. But, the truth is that it just isn’t my style. I would much rather spend a little more time with each family and make sure that the right group of images have been captured before moving on. In my opinion, you just can’t do that in a seven minute session that only promises to yield 1-2 images.
So for 2013, Ben O’Neal Photography is offering The Christmas Card “Not So” Mini Session. This is essentially a full Family Portrait Session at a discount price of only $125.00. The shoot might take a bit longer and we’ll probably do a little walking, but I am confident that you and your family will truly enjoy the experience as well as the images we create together for this Christmas and on into the years to come.
Remember that this offer is only for a limited time and Christmas is just around the corner, so if you are interested in scheduling your family’s session, please contact me today.
On this, the One Year Anniversary of Ben O’Neal Photography, I thought it would be fun to go back, dig deep into the vault and share some never-before-seen images taken through-out the past year.
From Rock ‘n’ Roll bands . . .
. . . to leaders of business . . .
. . . to some of the most adorable kids in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex . . . it has certainly been a roller coaster ride the likes of which I never could have predicted.
So many beautiful events . . .
. . . and interesting people . . .
. . . and amazing families that I was fortunate enough to photograph.
As I look back through the images we created together, I’m touched by the trust and confidence everyone so readily placed in me.
These images (and so many more) may look like just a pile of random smiling people . . .
. . . cool looking places . . .
. . . and purposefully proud parents, but believe me when I tell you that the truth is much more than that.
The simple truth is that these pictures tell stories. They are insights into the real and colorful lives of the people I call clients. Each and every one is uniquely special and inherently beautiful, little shining reminders of the fun we had together.
Here’s to many more years – I can’t wait to meet the next image . . .