Photographer Spotlight + Celebrity Mentor: Ginger Unzueta

We are so excited to welcome the amazingly talented Ginger Unzueta to the Rock the Shot Blog! Take a moment to learn more about her beautiful photography, and be sure to visit her website Ginger Unzueta Photography.

The best news… Ginger will be featured as our “Celebrity Mentor” in the Rock the Shot Forum for the entire month of September so come on over and ask her anything you like. Thank you so much Ginger for taking the time to share your work with us today!

Where did your inspiration for photography begin?
For me, photography is about capturing our life. It’s about being able to tell a story tomorrow of the memories we are making today. It’s about capturing the feelings and moments that I never want to forget. It’s about all the details, even the frequent imperfections of our children and of our family. These are the moments I want etched in my memory that will forever bring reminders of the love, joy, and even the challenges we experienced as a family. How would you describe your photography style?
Honest, intimate, sincere Did you study photography in school or are you self taught?
With the exception of a few online photography workshops, I am self taught. I have a BSBA degree in Finance and Marketing.  What brand/model camera do you shoot, and what is your favorite lens?
I shoot with a Nikon d750 and Nikon d700. I use SPL water housing  and  my d700 to shoot in and around the water. My favorite lens would be the 35 1.4 and the 50 1.4. I love using the 35 inside to capture the scenes of our family life. It is very versatile. The 50 is wonderful to use with portraits. I use both lens in the water. Do you have any tips for photographers on how to find the light?
My best advice on finding light is to always keep your eyes open. It is important to really study your surroundings because the light is always changing. Search for pockets of light and notice the way the light comes through different parts of your home and environment. Light is such a powerful part of photography and plays such an important role in our images. What is the most challenging thing about photographing everyday beauty?
It’s hard to put into words all that I have learned and gained from documenting daily life with my children. I am most certain this will be an ongoing process. I think one of the most significant has been the ability to see the places around us in unique ways each time we are together. Most often our life takes place at home or in our backyard; but there is always a new story, a new light, and unique way of seeing our children in this place we call home. Fresh perspective, to see the beauty of life, to not let it become mundane; is something I want to hold on to forever. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow, so I want to really see this world and the people I am with, with a new found love and passion daily. And taking any of this for granted cannot be accepted. What is a good lesson you have learned this year in photography or in your business?
For the last two years I have worked on a daily photo project called the Joy Project. This project has taught me so much about letting go of perfection; not only in my photography, but in my life. I am constantly reminded of the beauty of the imperfect. I am learning that the more I let go of my expectations of myself, of our days, and of others, the more alive I feel. God continues to teach and mold me through motherhood and for that I am grateful.

Whether you are a professional photographer, a hobbyist, or a parent or grandparent documenting the ones you love; I encourage you to look for the simple beauty in your life. Don’t wait for the perfect outfits, the perfect smiles, the perfect light, the perfect house, or whatever YOUR “perfect” is. These moments are fleeting.

What do you want to remember about today? What do you want to remember about these people? Pick up your camera; whatever body or style you use, and capture the now. It’s not about who will love your image. It’s not about perfect. It’s about the love you feel and see. If you could encourage a new photographer in one area, what would it be?
I would tell them to never forget the why. What do you love most about being a photographer?
I love being able to preserve these moments, days, years in the only tangible way I can. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
To be completely honest, I have no idea. As a mother to an 11, 8, and 5 year old it is hard to imagine life in 5 years. Life seems to fly by so quickly before my eyes. I want to linger in this time and enjoy each day.

I pray and strive to find ways to give back to this world; to inspire others and continue to be inspired.

My photography journey has been filled with many unexpected opportunities.  I am grateful for the chance I have had to work with so many other photographers through my Everyday Beauty workshop. It is truly a blessing to get to know the hearts of these students.  I am always in awe as I see them begin to be inspired by the beauty that is in their lives daily. 

About Ginger: I am a Jesus follower, wife and homeschooling mama to three. I believe there is beauty to be found every day . I strive to find joy in the mundane and messy days of motherhood. I seek God’s plan in all things and realize I would not be the woman I am without His undeserving love and grace. I am learning to embrace the imperfect and love seeing the beauty He creates in all things broken.

I enjoy sunshine, time by the water, long baths, alone time in the Word, seeing our children run wild and free, and simple days at home.

Visit Ginger at her WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM pages

And don’t forget, you can ask Ginger anything you like in the Rock the Shot Celebrity Mentor Forum for the entire month of September!!

Photographer Spotlight: Archetype Studio

We are so excited to welcome the amazingly talented couple of Koby and Terilyn Brown to the Rock the Shot Blog! Take a moment to learn more about their incredible wedding photography, and be sure to visit their website at Archetype Studio. Thank you so much Koby and Terilyn for taking the time to share your work with us today!  Where did your inspiration for photography begin?
Traveling …particularly overseas.  My parents bought me a 35mm when I was about 11 years old, I haven’t put down a camera since. (Koby)
How would you describe your photography style?
Constantly evolving, but our aim is always for our images to have a timeless aesthetic. Did you study photography in school or are you self taught?
At 12, Koby began studying photography as an apprentice to a studio photographer, and we continually invest in learning from PPA, WPPI.

What brand/model camera do you shoot, and what is your favorite lens?
We use a variety of camera bodies; it’s important to have the right tool for the job and we haven’t found just one that does everything perfectly in all environments.  You can view our gear bag online here: http://archetypestudioinc.com/details/gear-bag/  I would say a favorite body/lens combo right now is our Mamiya 645 AFDII with the Schneider 80mm 2.8.

Do you have any tips for photographers on how to find the light?
If you are working with only natural light, don’t be married to a background or scene.  Instead, walk around the subject and look from all angles before deciding where to shoot.  Have the subject turn her face so you can watch the light move.  Finding the most beautiful light is of first importance, a beautiful background should be second priority. If natural light just isn’t working for you, create it – with off camera flash. What’s the hardest part about photographing weddings?
Looking good while you sweat – haha.  Making group photos interesting, but always timeless.  Guests and groomsmen that drink too much. What is a good lesson you have learned this year in photography or in your business?
Carefully evaluate where every penny is put and stay focused on the goals made for the year. If you could encourage a new photographer in one area, what would it be?
Shoot for yourself too, not just for paying clients.  Get out there, take pictures – it’s the best way to find your voice.  If you only shoot what people ask you to, you’ll struggle to develop your own style.  And if you haven’t tried medium format film yet – we encourage you to give it a try – it’s magic. What do you love most about being a photographer?
Pictures make a difference in people’s lives.  Whether it is the last image taken of great-grandpa, or the first images of a married couple, our goal is to tell a story that will help create a legacy for future generations. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
We have been invited to teach a series of workshops overseas!   We enjoy teaching and sharing our knowledge, experience, failures and successes with other photographers – it is wonderful to have this opportunity.  Truly afflicted with a lifelong wanderlust, we structure everything in our business towards the goal of continued travel… so this new adventure of traveling and teaching together is definitely something we plan to grow over the next five years.

About the Artists: For us, photography is about passion and the need to craft memories into something emotionally tangible. It’s about freedom to go where the wind blows, and live without boundaries. It’s about risk and sacrifice. It’s about relationships and love . . . It’s a lot about love.  It’s about light . . . and the absence of light… The twist of a curl on a little girl’s head… It’s about life, the adventures along the way, and the chance to capture little pieces of future history.” – from the heart, Koby & Terilyn
International wedding photographers, Koby and Terilyn Brown, live in a happy little place on a barrier island off the coast of Texas. Together they planned, sacrificed for and ultimately built a business that takes them around the world to capture their client’s stories.  The Brown’s photography has been featured globally in publications; including the cover of People Magazine, and editorials in Cosmo, Glamour, Rolling Stone, Good Housekeeping, The Knot, the New York Times, and more.

Visit Koby and Terilyn at their WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER | PINTEREST | GOOGLE+ pages

New “Members Only” FREEBIE Packet {V50}

YOWZA!!!  The newest “Members Only” FREEBIE Packet {Volume #50} is now available for download in the forum!!  For our FIFTIETH packet we made sure it was filled with the most FABULOUS goodies from our amazing vendors!  We want to extend a HUGE thank you for their generosity and support. Special thanks to 4UWLove, Design by Candace,  and Fun Tent Design for this month’s contributions to Rock the Shot Forum members!

You can find the download link in [the Forum] under “Freebie Packets”. New members, don’t forget to download the other available issues of our “Members Only” Subscriber Packets as well! You’ll get HUNDREDS of dollars in FREE photography products.  Hurry, these packets are only available for a limited time!

Not a member of our forum yet?? JOIN TODAYand get exclusive access to all our FANTASTIC FREEBIES!

And now….on to the goodies! You will receive the following freebies:

8×8 Mod Album Template from 4UWLove {$25 Value}

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK

For You, With Love creates professional templates for photographers. Marketing made easy.

Tri-fold Photography Brochure Template from Design by Candace {$18 Value}

WEBSITE

Marketing template designs by a photographer for photographers.

Bundle of 6 Modern Fancy Facebook Timeline Templates from Fun Tent Designs {$25 Value}

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK

I was a full-time working woman in Graphic Design industry. I was young when I decided to give up my day job and pursue a new professional adventure. With more than 10 years of creating and helping small business with graphic design services. Now days having fun designing professional Photoshop templates for photographers, invitations, weddings, save the date cards, photo boards, web social boards, and other printeables. All templates ready to be personalized by you! I was born and raised in Puerto Rico and I am still living there with my husband at my little home/studio. Se habla español.

Not a member of Rock the Shot Photography Forum yet? Come on over and JOIN our fun and friendly community TODAY! 

And… don’t forget to stop by these wonderful vendors websites and Facebook pages and check out all the FANTASTIC products they have to offer. Remember to download all of our currently available packets in the forum. Here is a list of all the fantastic freebies available for download.  Hurry, these packets are only available for a limited time!!

Volume 49:

  • Sweet Rhombus Senior Album Template from Eleo B {$32 Value}
  • Senior Template Bundle from Maria B Paints {$55 Value}
  • Set of Four Newborn Announcement Templates from Pink Honey Design {$32 Value}

Volume 48:

  • Modern Diamond Pricing Template from Charlie Lou Designs {$15 Value}
  • Senior Template Bundle from Lucky Star Templates {$32 Value}
  • The Big Day Wedding Magazine Template from Sweet Sawyer Designs {$24 Value}

Volume 47: (Expires on August 16, 2015)

  • Set of Basic Photography Forms from Click Chicks Design {$15 Value}
  • Summer Mini Session Marketing Set from Fotovella {$32 Value}
  • Lovely Studio Marketing Set from Laurie Cosgrove Designs {$55 Value}

Photographer Spotlight: Jessica Q Photography

We are so excited to welcome the amazingly talented Jessica Q to the Rock the Shot Blog! Take a moment to learn more about her amazing wedding photography, and be sure to visit her website Jessica Q Photography. Thank you so much Jessica for taking the time to share your work with us today! Where did your inspiration for photography begin?
My inspiration for photography begin when I was searching for my own wedding photographer back in 2012! I was blown away by all the different styles and approaches of each photographer and set out to see if I had what it took to be one. Originally I started out in just portrait photography but I kept getting requests to photograph weddings so I just jumped into it and never looked back. I didn’t think that my first year I would book 14 weddings but I did! It was so surreal to have all these amazing couples trust me with their wedding day.  How would you describe your photography style?
My photography style is very fun and candid. Since I mainly photograph weddings, I approach a wedding day by capturing the moments as it happens, but with a curated eye. I love having fun with my couples and doing anything I can to put them at ease. Sometimes this involves some jokes (sometimes it’s even funny!) and other times it’s just building a rapport with my couples so that they feel comfortable in front of my camera. I love images that captures emotion and natural interaction so most of my prompts includes ways to engage my couples to be natural and be themselves.  Did you study photography in school or are you self taught?
I am 100% self-taught! When I first started, I made all my friends pose for me and did shoots anytime I can. One of the best things you can do is practice, practice, practice! I spent a lot of time on the computer googling, reading articles, and watching videos and just trying to absorb everything I can. Then once I got the hang of it a little bit, I took workshops from more veteran photographers. I am still always learning. You never really stop learning about photography and I don’t think anyone ever gets to a point where they know everything. I just always aim for self-improvement and how can I better myself to serve my clients. What brand/model camera do you shoot, and what is your favorite lens?
Ahhh I LOVE gear questions! I am a Canon girl through and through! I recently upgraded to a Canon 5d Mark iii and let me tell you that I am in love! I also have a variety of L series lens that I shoot with but my absolute FAVORITE lens is my 85mm 1.8. It’s not the most expensive lens in my bag but I tend to have it on my camera about 75% of the time. There’s just something about the focal length and the way it captures images that I just love. The 85mm 1.8 is the less expensive version of its L series sister the 85mm 1.2 but I just found that I didn’t like the 1.2 version as much. It takes a longer time to focus and it’s a pretty heavy lens. It all boils down to personal preference of course.  Do you have any tips for photographers on how to find the light?
I love golden hour lighting and typically plan my shoots during that 1.5 hour before sunset. Personally I LOVE shooting into the sun and I will always place my clients with their backs to the sun. I absolutely love the way the sun backlights them and creates a soft halo around them. But I can’t always shoot at this golden hour, especially on wedding days so in that situation, I find open shade. I will typically look for big buildings or really tall and lush trees to place my couple in and go from there.

As far as shooting bridal prep, I tend to bring my bride in front of a window or the doorframe to the patio if there is one and shoot her getting into her dress there. I try to leverage natural light as much as I can especially when most of my brides get ready in hotel rooms with all sorts of competing light sources. I’m including an image here where I had my bride slip on her dress, then I placed her in the doorframe of the patio so that she’s illuminated by the natural light instead of orange and tungsten lighting inside her hotel room.

What is the most challenging thing about photographing weddings?
I would say the timeline. Couples usually don’t know what to expect on their wedding day and part of my job is to be a resource for my couples and provide them with my personal and professional experience. Brides are not going to know that 1 hour isn’t enough time for family formals, bridal party photos, bride & groom photos etc. Or they’re not going to know that you need time to take ceremony and reception photos before all the guests arrive. It’s part of my job to educate them and help them maximize our time together. Personally for me, I enjoy putting together their timeline for them. I find that it really helps set the tone for the day, helps me get the images that I need for them, and helps them stress less. If I wasn’t a wedding photographer, I’d definitely be a wedding coordinator! What is a good lesson you have learned this year in photography or in your business?
I’ve learned so much in my 3 years that it’s hard to narrow down one single thing. But a huge part of being in this business that I am still learning is to be yourself! There is always going to be others out there who does things differently and who will try to tell you how to run your business. But you have to do what is best for your business and stay true to who you are. It’s okay to have a style and be passionate about that style even if others might not like that style. You can’t be in this business and not be passionate about what you’re doing or producing images that you’re proud of just because someone said that’s what you should be doing.  If you could encourage a new photographer in one area, what would it be?
Don’t be afraid to take risks. Don’t be afraid to reach out to other photographers and ask for advice and mentoring. I am part of a great community of photographers here in Arizona and we’re believers in community not competition. Practice, practice, and practice some more. You’re going to make mistakes, your style is going to change all the time but trust that everyone goes through it. No one comes right out of the gate and knows what they’re doing. It takes time. What do you love most about being a photographer?
This goes back to before I started my business and how I feel towards our wedding photographer. I absolutely love her to this day and feel like she’s not JUST a vendor on our wedding day, but a friend! With that being said, I absolutely love being the person to capture my couples biggest day in their lives and to see how each couple’s love story started. It warms my heart that most of my couples become my friends as well and I am able to share not only their wedding journey, but as they start their own families and being able to grow with them. My first ever wedding couple has a baby girl who’s almost 2 years old now. I was there to do their maternity photos, her newborn photos, her 6 month photos, and her one year cake smash. What’s better than that? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Hopefully I am running a flourishing business, with an associate photographer or two! I would love to travel more with my husband and explore the world!  About the Artist: I’m a fun sized wedding photographer in Phoenix Arizona. I am addicted to Starbucks and need to have my coffee every day. I have a love for shoes and currently own over 60+ pairs that I know of and love the color mint green! I also regularly quote lines from FRIENDS and Harry Potter because I am obsessed! Even though I am an adult, I love reading mushy young adult dystopian novels and wind down with a good book. My husband and I also love going on cinematic adventures together every Friday to see the latest new releases.

Visit Jessica at her WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM pages

August Photo Challenge:

Photo Credit: Melanie Weyer Photography – winner of our Water Challenge 2014

Summer is in full swing, what better way to COOL OFF with our August Photo Challenge theme “WATER“.  This month, get creative, think outside the box and enter your favorite image of “WATER”. Interpret the theme in any way you wish: rain, beaches, rivers, oceans, pools, water reflections – it’s totally up to you – the only requirement is that water is somehow incorporated into your photo.  Everyone is invited to participate!

Special thanks to our very generous sponsors for the AMAZING prizes for this months challenge!

Here are the prizes you can win:

1st Place PRIZE: Pixellu SmartAlbums Design Software {$299 Value}

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK

Pixellu SmartAlbums is professional album design software for photographers that makes album design fast, simple, and even fun. It was developed by Pixellu, a software company that is passionate about creating beautiful tools for photographers that are intuitive, reliable, and easy to use.

Try SmartAlbums free for 30 days. The risk-free, fully functional trial allows you to design and proof your album in under 20 minutes! Download your trial here.
2nd Place PRIZE: ImagePops from Simply Color Lab {up to $289 Value}

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When you want a simple ‘pop’ of creativity to add something special to an image.   Select one area of your image to ‘pop’ out in your display.  Like our Art Walls, you upload an image and we send you a proof of the layout for approval.  Available in Canvas, Fine Art Mounts or Metal Prints.   Prices start at just $69.

Feel free to give us your thoughts on what you would like “popped” from your image and we will create the perfect Image Pop for you.  What a great way to show your creativity and stand out.

Even if you aren’t a winner you can still get an amazing deal on this product.  Use code PopOne to get 30% off any order of an Image Pop. Sale ends August 31st, 2015. 

3rd Place PRIZE: $150 Gift Certificate to Hazy Skies Designs

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK

Hazy Skies Designs offers photography backdrops and templates, designed to help photographers present an image of professionalism and style that will impress potential clients and bring business through the door!

Here are the details for entering your submission:

1. Create a post on your blog and include ONE photo submission for the challenge. If you like, include some fun facts about the photo, and any tips or tricks you might like to share about how you captured and/or processed your image.  For this month’s submission, the only requirement is that your image contains WATER.  There are no other requirements – you may interpret the theme in any way you wish.
2. Include the Rock the Shot Button and type the link www.rocktheshotforum.com in your post. DO NOT include http://
3. You can also link your submission from public Facebook pages, Flickr, Pinterest, etc. Just be sure to include the link www.rocktheshotforum.com within your post. If you are having trouble with this method, check out our step-by-step video tutorial HERE 
4. Submit the link to your post using the InLinkz button below. You must submit the actual post link (permalink), not just your website URL. NOTE: do not include http:// in your link
5. You may submit your photo at any time during the challenge – the deadline for this month’s submission is Monday, August 31, at 11:59pm CST.
6. The winners will be announced on Friday, September 4th, 2015.

LEGAL STUFF: This promotion is in NO WAY sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. You will NOT be notified publicly via Facebook if you are a winner. You MUST be 18 to participate. By entering this giveaway, you are providing information to Rock the Shot and NOT to Facebook. Prizes do not have cash value. There will be no returns/exchanges on any of the items.

By submitting your photo, you grant Rock the Shot permission to re-post your photo on our blog and/or Facebook page.

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