Friday, December 30, 2011

Family Portraits in Vail with Kelly, Michael and Stan.

Thanksgiving's a great time to take some pictures for your annual Christmas card, but I have to be careful that I don't post pictures too early in case I spoil any Christmas card surprises.  Now that we're past Christmas, I can post these lovely pics of Kelly, Michael and Stanley.  Stanley's a Bassador - that's half Basset Hound, half Lab and 100% the love of his parent's lives.  Look at that face!

Everybody keeps commenting on how good Kelly's hair looks in these photos.  My photography skills can take no credit for that.  That's just Kelly's fabulous hair!

There's 2 days left for the year and a better blogging record is on the list of goals for 2012, and maybe a couple of personal photography projects too.  More to come on that...

On the SEO front, Google has wiped all of my reviews, so I'm waiting to hear back from them as to why that happened.  My Google Maps placement is still the same, and my web rank has moved up 4 pages.  The countdown's on!

Click here to see more Family Portraits in Vail, Colorado.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

12 Days of Christmas

Well, tomorrow is the start of the 12 days of Christmas and I haven't posted anything for the month of December.  This week has been busy with 2 business shoots and I'll be shooting a winter wedding on Saturday.  Fingers crossed for some good snow! 

Once we get closer to Christmas, I can start posting more photos that have been taken for Christmas cards without spoiling any surprises with clients cards.  There's some good ones in there too.

On the SEO front, huge leaps and bounds from the last posting.  White Starfish has leapt from page 16 on google when searching for a Vail Photographer to page 1!  It's all thanks to some good planning on Google Maps and some very sweet reviews from some of my very sweet clients.

Lastly, here's an article that ran in the Vail Daily about White Starfish this week.

The countdown to Christmas begins tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thanksgiving Family Portraits in Vail

The hardest part that comes with taking photos at this time of year is that I don't know which ones are going to be used for Christmas cards, so I don't want to post them just in case I spoil the surprise! Here's a sweet photo from Thanksgiving of my gracious hosts that I think I can get away with posting. Jeff certainly has some good looking ladies in his life...and Briar's not even in this photo!
A quick Thanksgiving pic of Suzanne, Jeff and Erin, taken in West Vail, CO

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Studio Portraits in Edwards with Declan

I wanted to post one more photo from my studio session with Declan the other day, but I have to leave it at just one photo because I'm not sure which ones will be used for his Christmas card this year and I don't want to spoil the surprise for anyone.  He's certainly a photogenic wee thing!

Click here to see more Baby Portraits in Vail, Colorado.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Family Portraits in Edwards, Colorado with The Carpenters.

I posted a couple of sneak peak photos from my session in Cordillera, CO with the Carpenter family the other day, and I finished editing them yesterday so I wanted to post a few more of them.  We're having an useasonably warm early winter this year, so we didn't capture a lot of snow in the photos, but you can see some scattered here and there. 
I ran a new action on this photo and I love it.  It tends to give everything a bit of a 3D effect.
This pose was Anna's idea from a photo she had seen.  It works perfectly with the amazing skyline that night.
I love Ayla's hair in this photo.  The wind added to rugged feel out in the hills.

To see more photos from this session, go to The Carpenter's Family Portraits in Edwards, Colorado.

In reference to my previous post about Search Engine Optimization, one of the tips was to make sure that your blog posts were longer in length.  I'm not usually much of a writer in my posts, because I'm a photographer and photographers obviously rely on photos to tell a story.  I've always been extremely concise (I once left a 3 hour journalism exam after 1 hour and managed to do pretty well on it - the task was to cut the fat from a story and present the facts), so bulking up on the blog will be interesting. 

My Google Places Card arrived today, and I now have a Google listing for Vail, CO.  My first listing is for Edwards, CO so having this new listing should help me I'm sure.  In Vail, we don't receive mail at our houses, so getting a listing on Google when you work out of your house is next to impossible.

Lastly, today is Small  Business Saturday!  It's a great excuse to get out there and support local small businesses during this Thanksgiving week/week of holiday shopping.  We don't have too many BIG businesses here, but we should always do our best to support the community.  Speaking of Thanksgiving, I did a few family photos on Thanksgiving for some friends and their beloved pooches, so those pics will be up shortly.

Current Ranking for 'Vail Photographer' on Google: Page 16, 8th entry.  Didn't I say the other day that it couldn't get worse?! :)

Click here to see more Family Portraits in Vail and Edwards, Colorado.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

In the name of Search Engine Optimization!

As a photographer, I'm constantly distracted by visual images time and time again and this is probably something that myself and most photographers have been suffering with since the time we picked up our first books and got swept away by the illustrations.  The first time I saw the Uruwera Mural by Colin McCahon, it literally knocked the breath out of me.  However, the point of this blog entry is to discuss how a photographer that is more captivated by strong imagery, can hunker down and read the fine print and improve their habit/hobby/profession through strong Search Engine Optimization.

I wrote an essay on Google in 1999, discussing how search engines worked through the use of spiders.  I'd love to find that essay now, purely to have a good laugh at how basic it seemed to be then.  Being that Google is the dominant search engine of our time, most Search Engine Optimization focuses on improving your rankings in Google.  As a Photographer, I'm somewhat of a techie, but more in the realm of new camera gear and certainly not in the field of Search Engine Optimization.  SEO falls into the catergory of things that I'm really interested in, but not particularly good at.  Disc Golf falls into this category also!

Google is constantly updating their algorithms for how they search for content.  The latest round of updates shows that Google is now looking for frequently updated, fresh content.  To try and keep up to speed, I'm throwing it out there that I am going to try and improve on this, and will be updating my Website, Facebook, Flickr, and blog on a more regular basis.  This is only the beginning though.

It seems that every time I look into this, everyone has a new and improved method for moving up in the SEO rankings.  I try to do as many of these steps as possible, but if one searches for 'Vail Photographer', it comes up with pages of Photographers that don't reside in or anywhere near the Vail Valley.  So, as a social science experiment, I put forward the hypothesis that 'A small photography business can improve their SEO, through the research and application of other peoples ideas that can be found solely on the internet, without paying for a third party to take care of it'.  This is being done more as an experiment of curiosity than anything else.  Again, I'm fascinated by SEO, but not particularly good at it therefore it can do my business no harm!

After thinking about everything I've read on the topic so far, many questions spring to mind.  Does Twitter really work and who has the time to be on there?  Do I really need to add my business to Yahoo Directory for $300 a year like some SEO companies suggest, or is that done more for a kick back to the company?  Do I really need to design a Landing Page for Facebook? These are all points to touch on in future entries.  In the mean time, I'm going to start with this article from Photopreneur, titled 'The Reasons your Photography Blog is Failing'

Wish me luck and Happy Thanksgiving!

Current Ranking for 'Vail Photographer' on Google: Page 16, 6th entry...absurd!

Studio Portraits in Edwards, Colorado with Declan

One more quick sneak peak from from another family session this weekend with sweet baby Declan. Talk about multi-tasking. Decs managed to squeeze in baby male modelling, playing host to a gaggle of other babies in his house for the afternoon and a quick nap! He's a star :)

To see more photos from our session, go to Declan's Baby Portraits in Edwards, Colorado.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Carpenter Family

Are you wondering where 2011 went?  I can't believe that it's Thanksgiving this week and Christmas is just around the corner.  Now's the perfect time to get your pictures done for holiday cards.  Here's a sneak peak of a session I did last night at Cordillera with the Carpenter family.  It's hard to tell that it was freezing by looking at the photos, but they were troopers.  Check out that sunset!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Jessica's Maternity Session. Gypsum, Colorado.

This photo session is long past overdue to be posted, but sometimes life can get a little hectic with a little one. I had the good fortune of working with Jessica on numerous events at The Ritz-Carlton Club, Vail and we were both due with o...ur first babies at the same time. We'd host events once a week and it was always a good chance to catch up on each other's pregnancies. Baby Hank has moved on from the mountains and is now living it up on the beach!

To see more maternity portraits, go to The Maternity Portraits Collection. Vail, Colorado.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Malcolm Farley Paintings at KKVM The Mile in Minturn

After a month's hiatus, it's fitting that my first post is right from where I left off at 104.7 The Mile in Minturn.  The station is looking a lot more colorful these days with these beautiful new paintings from Master's Gallery by Malcolm Farley.  I'd highly recommend stopping by to see these beauties in person!  To see more of the paintings, go to my Facebook page here-!/media/set/?set=a.10150527316409307.462133.207717064306&type=1

Friday, October 7, 2011

Vail Wedding with Kimber and Phil at Antlers and Manor Vail. Vail, Colorado.

The weather on September 17th was torrential rain and Kimber and Phil were set to be married outside at The Betty Ford Alpine Garden's that afternoon.  At the last minute, it was decided that the wedding would be moved inside to Manor Vail.  This decision would have thrown a lot of brides, (you know how long bride's think about these things!) but Kimber handled it with grace and they had a beautiful ceremony in front of the gorgeous fireplace inside The Lord Gore restaurant.  Here are a few pics from their special day.

To see more photos from Kimber and Phil's wedding, go to Kimber and Phil's Wedding Photos - Vail, Colorado.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Marth Rose Shulman Dinner

Terra Bistro played host to a special dinner as part of Vail Restaurant Month with acclaimed chef and author Martha Rose Shulman on Saturday night. The theme of the evening was "Recipes for a Healthy Thanksgiving Dinner". Guests were brought each of the 5 courses to dine on as Martha prepared the same dishes in front of them. Here are a few photos from the event - delish!

Click here to see more Event Photography in Vail, Colorado.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Vail Restaurant Month

We're into week 2 of Vail Restaurant Month, and as the official photographer, I'm being kept on my toes with lots of exciting events. I personally have been complaining/freaked out by a lot of the tomatoes at the supermarkets here in Vail, (think tasteless, waxy and mealy) so the Tomatoes, Tomatoes, Tomatoes event at Sweet Basil was super interesting. Here's one of my pix from the event that made it into the Daily, plus a couple of extras.

Click here to see more Event Photography in Vail, Colorado.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Senior Photos in Vail, Colorado with Ashton in Vail Village.

I knew it was going to be a fantastic session when Ashton told me she wanted something different for her senior photos. After discussing where we should take the photos, Ashton finally came up with the idea of taking them at Solaris. We had a lot of fun getting these pics and the lighting was amazing!

Now, if you don't reside in the US, you're probably wondering what on earth Senior Photos are or questioning why I have contracted myself out to the retirement community.  Senior Photos are taken at the start of your last year of high school and they are to be used in your year book.  They're also a great way capturing people just before they make the transition into the crazy and exciting world that is life after high school.  Does this bring back some memories?!

Click here to see more Senior Photos in Vail, Colorado.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Candace and Zac's Maternity Session - Vail, Colorado.

 I had a fantastic maternity session with Candace and Zac recently and we were able to shoot both indoors and out. They were such a cute couple and Candace was such a trooper. I had her hiking up hills, climbing on boulders in the river and trapsing through meadows. I think the results were worth it!

To see more maternity photos, go to Maternity Photos in Vail, Colorado.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sweet Baby Evan. Eagle Vail, Colorado.

 We had such a fun session the other day with Eagle Vail's newest handsome little face, Baby Evan! He was such an angel to shoot. The basket shot is a particular favorite and it was group effort getting there. Big thanks to Mama Cortni for helping me to get the shot!

Click here to see more newborn photos in Vail, Colorado.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Jessie and Brian's Wedding. Vail Chapel and Donovan Pavilion. Vail, Colorado.

I've never had a chance to shoot a wedding in the Vail Chapel, so I was super ex...cited to shoot Jessie and Brian's Wedding there a few weeks ago. This was such a fun wedding to shoot, with lots of Vail locals in attendance. If you're wondering about the dance photo, I can sum it up with one word...Journey!

To see more photos from Jessie and Brian's wedding, go to

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Shannon and Jason's Wedding. Beaver Creek, Colorado.

Somehow I always end up shooting wedding's in Vail, so it's always a nice change to get to shoot a wedding in Beaver Creek.  Shannon and Jason were married on the lawn outside The Osprey a couple of weeks ago, on what seemed to be the last Saturday of Summer.  It was such a beautiful day and their timing couldn't have been better, because we'll definitely be seeing some snow here before we know it.  Congratulations Shannon and Jason!

To see more photos from Shannon and Jason's wedding, go to 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Coffee Shop Actions

Thank goodness for Coffee Shop Actions!  You only have around 10 days to get this particular pose out of a newborn, while they're still squishy.  Unfortunately,  newborns tend to get an interesting newborn rash, as most parents know.  The Coffee Shop Baby Powder Room Photoshop Action will clean it right up though.  This particular little guy had a bad case of it, but you'd never know.  If you're wondering who he is, there's a clue on his chin. 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Back on Track with a Fab Pic of Annie. Two Elk Restaurant, Vail Mountain.

I haven't put out an update in a while because Baby Maxwell has arrived, and now I seem to be coming back to the real world!  What better way to start off again than with this picture of the beautiful Annie up at the infamous Two Elk Restaurant on top of Vail Mountain.  Annie was a total rock star, as was our little helper with the props.  Thanks Annie! xxoo