I started photographing destination weddings 20 years ago – and I still enjoy capturing these fun, intimate wedding celebrations!
Hayley and Calum along with their family and close friends came all the way from Scotland to Orlando to make their love official. Here are some of my favorite shots from this wonderful wedding!
“I couldn’t have asked for a friendlier and more professional photographer for my wedding. We were delighted with our photographs! Thank you Rinat”
- Hayley McMinn
Hayley and Calum destination wedding was in the beautiful Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando
Planner: Plan It Event Design & Management
Flowers: Cloud 9 Wedding Flowers
Officiant: Sensational Ceremonies, LLC
Harpist: Christine MacPhail
Hair & Makeup: Brie & Brie
Going to Vegas to create 10 branded lifestyle portraits as part of a Photo Marketing Strategy for some of Elite Marketing Pro‘s top clients during their No Excuses 8 Summit presented me with quite a challenge. How do I convince 10 strangers who never heard of me before to trust that I know how to create a branded engaging relevant photo for them to connect with their target audience?
Well, lucky for me, I like challenges. So it took some serious logistics, phone meetings across time zones (and one Skype meeting with Japan), but we came out to Vegas with a plan – and the relevant props – to help us create a branded lifestyle portrait THAT ROCKS! Here are some of my favorite shots from this non stop – running around – location scouting – dragging equipment – capturing some great shots.
And no, I don’t have any photos of how I was asked politely by a police officer to leave the property. Twice. During a photoshoot. What can I say – it happens to all photographers at one point or another. To some photographers more frequently than others, but we won’t get into that.
#WalkAMileInHerShoes was what I thought when hearing @Brandy Shaver’s “Why”. Why she is in the online marketing business, and how she got there. Immediately I thought of the location scouted earlier that day, and when we went there I placed her shoes – oldest to the newest pair (Brandy is carrying in her hand) in the spotlight the sun provided (thank you sun!). Here is a sneak peek from her #PhotoMarketingStrategy .
Dr. Jim Storhok online business is all about NOW! I wanted his #PhotoMarketingStrategy to reflect his always moving forward – and in the opposite direction of #TheEasyWayOut . Here are a couple of shots from his #Photoshoot
So…we were having SO MUCH fun on this #Photoshoot ! Vicki Sowa was sooooo surprised when that champagne bottle popped, I could not have planned her expression better! PERFECT for #branding her business tagline – Celebrate every moment! Here is a sneak peek from her #PhotoMarketingStrategy
Cary Gammon loves playing golf. He also loves helping people through his online business. We combined these two loves by writing Cary’s marketing cornerstones he teaches his clients – on golf balls. Here is a sneak peak of his #PhotoMarketingStrategy
In #PhotoMarketingStrategy it’s all about translating the brand’s background story into a compelling photo. With Ed & Brenda Zimbardi I got them to talk about the years they have been together, about their children and how they met – and soon enough they were smiling from the heart. Which was perfect – because everything they do is from the heart. Including running their business. See more about Ed and Brenda on their website here:http://edzimbardi.com/about-ed/
“Dance like no one’s watching” is Fusano Nagashima – Live Your Life ‘s motto – and she walks her talk. With no warning, she broke into this beautiful dance in the hotel lobby! Of course, my camera was ready because it was part of our #PhotoMarketingStrategy Skype discussion before we met for the #PhotoShoot
Whit and Cari Higham just LOVE being together – good thing, as this couple works together, too! In their #PhotoMarketingStrategy I wanted to reflect their fun, joyful relationship to their potential clients. Aren’t they cute? Check them out at http://whitandcarihigham.com/
This Texas power couple are all about healthy eating! When creating a #PhotoMarketingStrategy for Josh and Heather Glaze I wanted to have a “fresh” twist to their #PhotoShoot. What’s fresher than grapes on the vine, and some outdoor air? Here is Heather and Josh’s Sneak Peek, Check them out at http://heatherglaze.com/
When Joe Petri explained to me the meaning behind his #SpartanResurgence concept, I knew he had to bring the shield he owns to our photo shoot in Vegas. And, as any good superhero would do – he brought it! Here is a sneak peek from our #PhotoMakretingStrategy photoshoot
Courtney Hackman loves to travel, so when creating her #PhotoMarketingStrategy this past weekend in the #NES8 we enjoyed incorporating some fun travel shots. Because having your own #SmallBusiness is all about the journey, not just the destination! Here are a few of my favs from this #PhotoShoot
For me, the biggest accomplishment in these photoshoots was not how great the shots turned out, or how accurately they represented these small businesses. Even though these two facts were highly important, of course. To me, what was most important is at the end of each photo shoot the client turned to me and said “This was fun!”. Most of them went from not really wanting to have their photo taken – to by the end of the photoshoot feeling they had a great experience.
And that, right there – is the magic powder that creates great photographs.
Here are some fun behind the scenes photos of our intense 10 back to back branded lifestyle photoshoots in Vegas. BTW, these shots were taken by my assistant – my wonderful boyfriend Mike who took time off his busy schedule to come out and help me, holding the reflector and dragging lights all over God’s creation. First time I ever had a pilot as my assistant…what can I say? I am a #LuckyGirl
I hate labels. They irritate my skin and make me itch all day. First thing I do when I buy a new piece of clothing is cut the label off. Here is a question for you: when is the last time you actually read what a label said? I can tell you for me I think it was the first time I learned how to do laundry – about 30 years ago.
Seeing this is March, which is my birthday month, I was going to write about being an Aries woman. Until I read what an Aries woman IS – according to astrology. The labels were less than flattering, and included words like “dominant”, “pushy”, impatient” and “trouble”. Wow. That sent me into a deep meditation about the subject, and when I was done meditating – I remembered.
I remembered how much I dislike labels. In clothing, as well as in life. Let me tell you what it means to be an “Alpha female” (another Aries women label). To me it does not mean being dominant and pushy, it means leading by positive example, being proactive and assertive.
“Pushy” is another label I have heard many times before. Who defines what is the right amount of time something is suppose to take until it happens? I believe there are people who are change makers, people who help create the new and the better in this world. And no, these people don’t wait. I mean – why wait? When you know something can happen, why wait and not just make it happen? Can you imagine Ford got the idea about creating this new thing called “A car” – and said to himself: “Na, I’m gonna sit on it, I’m not going to do it right now. I mean – who really needs it?”
Another label Aries women, including me – hear – is that we are impatient. Well, we may be because the rest of the world is moving SO SLOOOWWWW.
But all joking aside, again, who is to say what is the right amount of time something should happen? And who is to say it is wrong to want something to happen faster – rather than wait for it to maybe happen one day. Time, after all – is an illusion.
Here is my new definition for an Aries woman:
An Aries woman is a strong, brave, independent woman. She is willing to make mistakes because she knows that is the only way to grow, and so she takes chances and tries new things. She is also the first one to admit her mistake and will be the first one to apologize if she hurt you. She cares and she is smart and fun and optimistic, and she accepts different people because she understands there is more than one way to have a human experience in this world.
She creates changes in a swift movement that seems effortless but truly has a lot of hard work behind it. And she moves so fast it catches most of the world by surprise. So she needs people around her who inspire her, communicate clearly and can handle movement forward through fear without backing down. “If you can’t take the heat get out of the kitchen” describes life with her best. Then again, a heated kitchen means there is cooking involved – and yes, she enjoys cooking good, healthy, delicious food she loves to share with family and friends.
Even though she can do pretty much anything a man can do – she can be a very feminine woman. She knows what she wants and she goes out to get it, and she is always honest, bringing her truth in a humble, loving way. She is passionate and funny. And she defines the word Optimism.
FYI here are some of my fellow Aries awesome women, recognize any of them?
Aretha Franklin (Respect!)
Billy Holiday (Apparently we Aries women love to sing Jazz)
Robin Wright (“As you wish!”)
This month of March I ask to throw out the labels and instead look at them from another perspective. What are some labels you were labeled before? Instead of accepting them, how can you look at them differently?
Here is my birthday gift to you if you choose to accept it: write to me in the comments for this blog post one label you were given you do not like – I will write you back a different perspective of that label – and email you a birthday present “The Gift Of Portrait” $50 gift card to go along with it.
Happy No Label March!
To see more of Rinat’s work go to rinathalon.com
You know these jokes that start with “how many men does it take to…”? This was all I could think about when Ron Ben-Zeev, the CEO of World Housing Solution was showing me around the warehouse. “Come here” he said as he was holding up a wall panel, “hold this”.
I did, and was so surprised to feel the wall panel was so light. “That’s one of our advantages” said Ron, eyes sparkling with pride of his product, “these are so light any size soldier can carry and build these temporary housing units in any conditions”.
When I am hired to create a Photo Marketing Strategy for a company, first thing I do is listen and watch. I always say small businesses may not have big ROI in the first few years – but they all have a story to tell. A story of why they do what they do. And my first order of business is extracting that story from them and turning it into effective photographs that will engage their target audience.
When Ron told me the one thing that shocks his clients is how big the housing unit can be built, I wanted to use forced perspective to represent that. This is when I started playing with dolls – literally. Using toy military army men I created a scene in front of the biggest unit Ron had assembled in the warehouse to capture the story in one shot.
Another perspective to show how big the unit is presented itself from the top (after hanging on a side of a 63 story tower in a window cleaner’s basket to capture some good shots a few years back, climbing up to get this shot seemed like a fun ride)
We also wanted to show how the smaller units can be used for living quarters or as a war room
Back at the warehouse, as I was holding the wall panel up feeling how light it was, I was thinking about the scene from the movie Superman, when little superman was holding up the truck in front of shocked parents.
And right there and then I realized what was going to be THE shot for World Housing Solution’s Photo Marketing Strategy. I was even happier when we ended up with a little girl (girl power!) . The warehouse turned very quite when I walked our little model wearing her red cape under one of the wall panels (held up by her father on one side and Ron on the other side – removed in photoshop) and asked her to push her hand up and “hold the panel”. And we got THE shot – The one that tells World Housing Solution’s story in one shot.
Funny enough, I was the only real ex-soldier in the room (Israeli military). Ron’s temporary housing units have a warm spot on my heart since one of my long lasting memories I carry with me from my military days is of one night when I was in boot camp. We woke up in the middle of the night to find out a fierce storm took the tent away literally from over our heads. I don’t remember how many girls we were in that tent, but if you can imagine a group of young women chasing a tent in a pitch dark night as they are getting soaking wet – you can imagine what that felt like. And to top it off, once we got the tent back in place, climbing back into our now soaking wet sleeping bags was no picnic either. I can tell you for a fact – we would have been thrilled if we had the option to build one of Ron’s Temporary Housing Solutions!
To connect with World Housing Solution CLICK HERE
To see Rinat’s 6-minute video why a Photo Marketing Strategy is so important CLICK HERE
Recently I went on a beach getaway. I was walking on the beach, enjoying the beautiful view, breathing in the smells of the fresh, clean Florida air, and enjoying the moment.
I was listening to the sound of the waves and the sea goals circling over my head when I realized I was hearing different languages spoken around me. I snapped out of my bubble and smiled as I recognized I was walking passed families speaking Russian, Japanese, Spanish and a few other languages I did not recognize. And then it hit me: everyone had a camera in their hands. They were all either taking pictures, or talking about the camera. I could tell some were frustrated; their photos were not turning out the way they envisioned. One couple I walked passed was speaking in English, and I heard the woman complain to the man “the camera is just not good enough”, she said as she sighed in sorrow. I looked the other way, wondering what they were all photographing. There was nothing there except the big blue ocean. The beautiful, living, breathing big blue ocean. The ocean all these people came to enjoy, and relax, and re-charge by. But they were not doing that. They were all keeping very busy clicking away, and were getting frustrated when they could not seem to be able to capture the essence of the moment.
One of the things I talk about when I teach is when NOT to photograph. In this day and age with the camera equipment is accessible to anyone and everyone, it seems no one is living in the moment any longer. We are either capturing photos to be able to see them in the FUTURE, or looking through photos we captured as we reflect on the PAST. And then we wonder why the NOW, this moment in time, just seems to flee us so quickly.
That morning on the beach, me – the professional photographer – was the only person without a camera in her hands. Of course I brought a camera with me to the beach. But with years of experience and technical knowledge I know when it’s worth it to actually pull out the camera. The camera does not control my life, it’s a tool I control to capture a few special moments that are worthy of my time, energy and thought put into capturing them for prosperity sake.
The rest of the time, I choose to live NOW. And this seems to become a fleeting concept in the past few years since the photography equipment has become affordable and available to all. When we don’t realize is how much this affordable, available, easy to use equipment is costing us in time and energy. Because it’s only a piece of equipment. Think about how an airplane can safely take off and land when it’s in the hands of an experienced pilot in what seems to be a smooth, effortless motion (but we all know very well it is not). A camera follows the same concept. You can whiteness a professional photographer capture a beautiful photograph in what seems to be an effortless motion. But the same camera can become a time and energy sucker, frustrating experience when it’s in your hands if you do not know how to use this tool.
My suggestion? Get busy living life, and not capturing it. When you get somewhere decide to capture only a couple of shots, and then put the camera away. As the pilot says when the airplane takes off: “Sit back – and enjoy the ride!”.
Because that’s what life is about. Here is to a 2017 filled with beautiful, happy, relaxing and energizing NOW moments!
To find out more about the Photo Coaching for photographers I offer, including the “8 Weeks to Photo Goal! ” program CLICK HERE
If you are an amateur photographer who just wants to learn how to get better pictures CONTACT ME for more information about the photography classes I offer
For your office staff Photo Team Building activities CLICK HERE
For more information about the best, most fun and thoroughly educational Photo Tours coming up CLICK HERE
To book one of my original, one of a kind entertaining, heart warming Photo Talks CLICK HERE
To see some of the shots I took on Cocoa Beach, and more of my Travel Photography CLICK HERE
Truth be told, I don’t always feel like smiling. Just like anyone else, when I’m upset, it’s the last thing I want to do. Yet you wouldn’t know it from my Facebook feed. So why smile when I don’t want to?
In my world there are three kinds of therapy: Beach therapy, which involves meditating by the ocean. Music therapy in which I surround myself with the loving hug of notes and cords and beats that heal my soul. And then there is photo therapy.
Recently I was met with a part of my personality I had no idea existed. And I was horrified, and ashamed to realize that it is a part of me. What’s worst is, I hurt someone I really care about with this personality trade I carry in me. That broke my heart, and had me in tears for days. If this was not enough, as I reflected back, I realized more and more times in my past this personality trade hurt me and others around me. I was crushed. First thing I did was to ask for forgiveness.
Next thing, now that I am aware of this trade I do not like – I decided to change. The thing is, change takes time (for me anyway) and it’s a process.
Meanwhile, as I am going through this emotional wave – life keeps going. I still need to post photos of me photographing my clients and networking on Facebook. I still need to get my own holiday photo done. How do I do it without tears in my eyes?
The power of Therapeutic Photography is that in these types of pictures I can be anyone I want to be. Even the woman I am currently working on becoming. I can create a reality that does not exist yet – and insert my current self there, to see myself as I want to be.
This is exactly what I do for my Therapeutic Photography clients when they come to my studio. Because the camera reflects things you can’t see with the naked eye. Because the camera can function as a time machine to take you into the future you want for yourself. Because the camera can capture your happy moment even when you are sad in the present, and give you a glimpse into the wonderful new life you wish for yourself. A glimpse that will make you happy, feel better, and inspire you to keep going through the rough times until you make it to this new reality you are creating for yourself. And if you forget, or the change you are making becomes hard, you can look back at these photos and be reminded by your own happy smile why you are making this change.
So when I was lucky enough to get Santa to come to the studio for my own holiday portrait, I knew this was my opportunity to give me some love through this difficult time using Therapeutic Photography.
This was me in the morning before the shoot, all teary eyed and everything:
As I was creating the scene for this shoot, I realized I was feeling a little better already. Using the hot glue gun to glue the dreidels and chocolate coins to the plate (for some reason using a glue gun always makes me happy) got a little smile out of me. It’s a start.
Then Shelby, my wonderful assistant, came to help me with this shoot. She was feeling down as well. A close family friend just passed away, and Shelby was full of sadness.
But as we completed setting up the first scene, Shelby was starting to feel better, and when Santa showed up she was starting to get excited about this shoot as well.
First scene went great, here is the final shot (Shelby clicking the camera – thank you!!!) from this “Dear Santa, I can explain” Jewish girl’s interpretation to a Christmas greeting card
Second scene I wanted to capture was a fantasy one. I always thought Jessica Rabbit is the most feminine thing I’ve ever seen. This past Halloween I bought a wig, and never used it. Now was the perfect time to use it, as I channeled my inner Jessica Rabbit for these shots (Isn’t Santa’s expressions just perfect? Dennis is SO GOOD as Santa!!)
I was happy with the photos and thought we were done, but then Dennis suggested I do some without the wig, and I remembered I had a Santa hat I wanted to wear. At this point of the shoot the three of us were having such a good time, I forgot I was sad. Here are a few proofs from this part of the shoot:
And then we captured THE shot. There she was. My future self. Happy, glowing. Funny. Soft and feminine. The inspiration I was looking for. I call this shot: “Santa, this is my wish”:
No, I am not going to tell you what I asked Santa for. But I will tell you that after the shoot was over, Santa started talking about the things people ask him for. I had to pick up the camera and click away as he was telling us about children asking that dad stops beating up mom. Mothers that ask for one more year of life before cancer takes them because their children need them. And grown men that ask just to be happy. Yes, all we all want is to be loved.
At the end of the shoot we took a couple of selfies. Here is one with Dennis Underwood the best Santa EVER!
And with my girl Shelby Gevin who clicked away my portraits with Santa so perfectly – I am SO proud of her.
Happy Holidays. And a quote from my favorite song “My Wish”:
“If its cold outside, show the world the warmth of your smile”
To hear the song “My Wish” CLICK HERE
To book Dennis Underwood as Santa CLICK HERE
Marilyn Monroe said it best, we ladies do love our diamonds! Here are 8 tips on how to take better pics of your new and shiny engagement and wedding rings for the world to see:
TIP #1: Let your fiance and his groomsmen have the rings as they are getting ready for the wedding ceremony. They will start goofing off I can guarantee it, and you will get fun shots like this one!
TIP #2: The classic “hands over flowers” pose always looks great thanks to the contrast the beautiful flowers add functioning as a backdrop to the rings, and the dress and tux pull it all together perfectly
TIP #3: Have your man hold the ring, that way you get the intention and the action in one shot. Its one of those shots that make people tilt their heads to the side and go “OOOOOHHHHHHH!!!”…(and its a Facebook “Like” machine)
TIP #4: Let a child hold the rings. Something about a child’s little hand holding a ring…well, it’s not for nothing we have a ring bearer in a wedding, right?
TIP #5: Before you put on your bling shoes – use them from a different point of view
TIP #6: Sometime you have to kiss a few frogs to find your prince. But when you are done kissing frogs, how about having the frog pose with your rings?
TIP #7: Keep it simple. Have your sister or best friend hold the rings in her loving hands, that way you capture a great memory of the rings, held by the person you love so much, who held your hand through the good, the bad, and the ugly cry
TIP #8: Using the rings in a different way, something fun and unexpected, always creates a memorable shot!
To see out wedding proposal photography packages CLICK HERE
For more information and to contact Kelley Thomas as Marylin Monroe CLICK HERE
When I start working with a new Photo Coaching client, as we sit down to talk about their photography business dreams and goals, they are always surprised to find themselves crying.
Last week when a new Photo Coaching client came in and we were sitting in my meeting room to chat, he could not hold back his tears. First thing he did was to apologize, and try to hide the tears. “What are you apologizing for?” I asked. He looked at me, confused.
In this day and age, and in our society, crying is considered s sign of weakness. It is considered shameful to cry, especially in front of other people.
I believe tears are the healers of the soul. The reason I believe that is because every single one of your body’s functions has a purpose. So how could it be that tears do not?
When we touch our deeply buried and neglected wants and dreams, they come up to our conciseness. And they hurt, because we are not allowing them to be, we are not allowing ourselves to be what and whom we want to be.
Tears are the first step in changing that. In allowing ourselves to be the person we truly want to be. First we cry to heal our soul. Then we are ready to face our fears doubts and worries that stop us from being the person we want to be. Then we make room to grow into being that person.
I named it fondly “growing pains”. And yes, fully grown adults have them too.
I handed my client a box of tissues and asked him to allow himself to cry. When the relief after the tears came he relaxed and spoke clearly about his vision for his photography business. Now, we can make a step by step plan on how to make this successful & profitable photography business vision of his – into a reality. Every day I am thankful for my photography career, but photo coaching is by far one of the most humbling experiences it offers me. I am grateful for it.
For more information about Rinat’s Photo Coaching CLICK HERE
It was a lovely intimate affair at the Magic Village on Thanksgiving morning. Chloee and Ricky were married poolside surrounded by an intimate crowd of family and friends. The reception was beautifully organized inside the pool house, and the front entrance provided a great backdrop for this fun loving couple. Happy Ever After Chloee & Ricky!
To see Rinat’s wedding photography package and prices CLICK HERE
Wedding Planner: Jessica Narduli Aloha Of America