Tuesday, August 21, 2012

That Dreaded Head Shot!

How many times have you heard someone say, "I have to update my business head shot.  The last one was 10 years ago".
It's true, it's the most dreaded experience for business professionals and business owners.  You have to get your "Face" out there!  Seriously! 
Just within the last 5 years, I have noticed that I have changed.  I hate to say it, more grey, more wrinkles.  My face looks like it fell!  I don't want a head shot.  The last one I had, I just turned 30.  I won't tell you that was 27 years ago! 
So, with that said, I understand your fear.  Your boss says "Do it", and you are kicking your feet as you walk out the door.
  I want you to know that I offer a personal and friendly atmosphere.  The studio is set up to put you at easy.  Chap stick and hot coffee or tea.  I even have chocolate!
I am going to update my head shot very soon.  If I can do it (As a photographer) you can too!   No more than 30 minutes - And the Touch-Up is included!   See, it's not so bad!!!Call me!                   (707) 479-4772

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


The month of March, Russell Event Photography kicked off with the American Cancer Society a "Bark for Life" Photo contest. We had seventeen beautiful dogs to photograph.  Our contest on Facebook, was view by  58,000 people!  Crazy!     The twelve winners would be featured in a 2013 Calendar.  It has been a wonderful project giving back to help those in need.  The money stays local in our community to help cancer patients get a ride to their treatment centers, or help with the cost of wigs, or just basic help in general.  For a $15.00 donation to the American Cancer Society, anyone can receive this calendar.  So far  140 calendars flew out the door.  We have approximately only 60 left of this production.    So if you would like one, please contact me.  To ship them, it's $4.00 to cover shipping and handling.  Email me and I will be able to send you all the info you need to get your hands on one of these.
 If you look at the website under pets, you will see some of the photos that will be in the calendar.  Thank you to all the wonderful people and dogs that I have meet.   www.russelleventphotography.com
     We ended with the Bark for Life Celebration in the La Plaza Park in downtown Cotati. With all the vendors and sell from calendars we are just shy of reaching $10,000.   Our photo booth was up and available to take more photos of pets.

Steve & Lucy

You may ask me why I am so concerned about the Fight Against Cancer.
 My father- in- law died of lung cancer in 1969.  The knowledge and research then, was not what it is today.    Just in my family alone, this year I have 3 members that have been in treatment for breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, and lymphoma.   I want to see these dear cousins have a chance.  I am excited to say, that my cousin Gina is Cancer Free.  I say thank you to the Lord- and thank you to the research that is available!    I know you have someone  in your family or circle of friends that is facing this giant.     Let's all work together!

If you would like more information about this program go to: www.cancer.org

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Studio Work
Some of you might be thinking, “She’s taking pictures! She likes that. That can’t be work!” Let me tell you how I felt when I got home after 8 hours of “Taking Pictures” (WORK!). I could hardly move! Was it worth it? Yes, Yes, and Yes.

I invited Ray Mabry to join me in photographing three models. It was practice. I had a plan that I mapped out so that we could work with each model, then put them together, and see what the outcome was. Each had a purpose and end result. It resulted in commercial work with the individual shoots, and also a feel of “Wedding Season”. Working on the “Before the Wedding”, and “Afterwards”.

One of the things that I learned from David Ziser was that you have to create an environment of constant learning. You also have to engage with other people in your profession that will push you to look outside the box, grow in knowledge, and be challenged to do better. And, in turn challenge the other person. That was Saturday. I had a great time of trying new things. The three things that I worked on were posing, lighting, and composition. I hope I got it right.

On May 28, 2011, I will be joining forces with a total of five photographers. Setting up the studio with three “Lighting Stations”. We will work inside and outside as well. Planning before the outcome. Very important to see this from start to finish. Weddings are like that for the photographer. You have to create the story line before the click of the shutter. Make a plan, and then work the plan.

I look forward to working at my craft. Some days, I wish I had a Simon Cowell to be honest with me. He can be brutal- but sometimes that is what we need to push us further than we think we can go.

Well, it's wedding week for me! My son Jonathan is getting married to a wonderful girl named Brianna. I have to be on my best behavior with my camera. I have to stay clear of the wedding photographer they hired. She does beautiful work!
I get to be the "Mom with a camera". We are happy to have her in our family!

Blessings to you!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Starting Again

It has been a while since I blogged. Opps! One year! My husband and I were so overwhelmed with taking care of his mom. Vascular Dementia is one of the hardest diseases out there when it comes to reason, understanding, communication and unconditional acceptance and love. When we finally made the decision to place her in a memory care facility, it came with guilt, sadness and relief. We are on the mend. The guilt is gone because we know that she is getting the very best care that is out there.

Primrose which is a memory care facility specializes in Alzheimer's and dementia. They know what they are doing. We have gone from "Caregiver", to "Family members". It has made all the difference in the world.

So, I am picking up the pieces of my own thought process, and moving forward with our life together as a married couple, the church family and then my personal business, which is Russell Event Photography.

I have been logging onto facebook to try to keep up with interesting things that I have had the opportunity to do.

I love my studio! When I decided to go full time with the business, my mother in law moved in. That meant, that I needed to find a place of my own to work, and shoot.
I’m only 3 miles from home. Now that she is in a place where she is getting quality help, I now can put my attention to growing the business of photography. I don’t know how long I will have this studio to rent, but I do know that I am not going to stop enjoying this journey that I am on! A lot of photographers that are full time don’t have studios. Working from a home office or home studio saves money, and you can write that part of your home business off.

My marketing plan is three- fold:
1. Portrait Work in Studio and out on location.
2. Renting my studio for Photography Classes- (We have had three so far).
3. Renting my studio for other Professional Photographers that don’t have a studio that would like to rent it per hour.

I am learning new things every day! It’s exciting. So as you journey with me, I hope that I can encourage you somehow to find out what your dream is and go for it.
I have to tell you it is work! Not for the faint of heart.
Until next time!
(Christmas 2010)

Blessings to you,

Friday, May 14, 2010

Hitting the Mark

In order to hit the mark, we need to know what our target is. In archery, my husband George practices every chance he gets. He and my oldest son are in a tournament with the Sonoma County Bowman's Association. Every Wednesday afternoon, they head out to a 600 acre dairy with cow pies, and plastic 3D animals of every kind, and shoot for points. George is a great archer. He always places first or second. He knows what he is aiming for and goes for it.
We have something in common, we both love to "Shoot". He shoots his bow and arrow, and I shoot with my camera.

For me, sometimes it's not always clear what to aim for when shooting. Sometimes it's not always clear as to what I want to aim for when it comes to the photography business. I was told that this was not a good time to start a business in this "Touch Economic Time". I started anyway. I am glad I did. Things are slow right now. But I know as I keep perfecting my "Shot", I will create a special place for my business in the midst of it all.

My mother in law is still working through some adjustments. She has been with us now 5 months. I am learning that with the Alzheimer's, the "Adjustments" will keep happening. Every day is a new day. I have to adjust my schedule at times to accommodate her. We have caregivers now, and Adult Club. That has been great for her, and for us. She comes home with "Bingo Prizes", and necklaces she has made, and lots of stories. It frees me up to pursue my job. I would not want her to be anywhere else. I am thankful that we are able to be there for her. It's a good thing.

Sad to say, my cookbook is not on schedule. I am still working on it, but right now, I have to go it alone. And that is okay too. It will get done.

So, I want to encourage all of you. We all have things in our lives that shape us and mold us into who we are. I remember a wonderful lady, Trella Witt tell me, "You can grow Better or Bitter, it's up to you". I CHOOSE BETTER.

If you have a passion-Go for it.
Get out your "Bow and Arrow" Aim for the target.
With Practice-You will not miss it.
Have a great week!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Once Upon A Time

My little super model Rosalia was back in the studio this week. She told all her grade school friends that she had a "Model Shoot". She came with ideas, and we worked together as I was working out some of the bugs with my lighting in the studio. We had fun. I have learned that when working with children, you have to let them sometimes lead and let them show their personality to earn their trust, so that you can get the best possible pose. I wanted to capture "The Love for Reading". As I handed her the book, she began to read. So natural, so sweet. The book is called "You Are Special", by Max Lucado. Once of my favorite children's books. When my husband and I worked with foster children, that was the book I would read to them. Speaking of reading! Lauren is graduating from Sonoma State University next month. Her major is teaching. I was honored to take her Senior pictures. Sonoma State is a beautiful campus-perfect for photo shoots.

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Window of Opportunity

I have heard the saying "When God closes a door, He opens a window. The window of opportunity is opening for me. I am excited to see the light shining through!
The Famous Italian Cookbook that I have been working on, will soon have it's own blog. I am in the process of finalizing the website design, and pictures. I will share with you my journey through this time consuming process.
In the "Business World", networking is a major key to a persons success. I have met so many colleagues lately that have been very encouraging for me, and have a willingness to help me in my journey into this Photography business.
George, my husband has been my wonderful supporter. His three little words inspire me as I get my rubber boots on, and sometime trek through the mud of life. It's "You GO Girl!". He's been a wonderful husband.
I am reading books on websites, photography lighting, posing, composition, marketing, branding, and the list goes on. Can this old dog learn new tricks? I think so. I am learning and growing. I hope that keeps me young in heart and spirit!
I just finished hosting my first art show. It was last weekend. I hosted it with another photographer, and through the ups and downs of planning and being on the same page, it was wonderful. We had 34 artists from all over the bay area set up shop at the DoubleTree Hotel, and over 175 visitors to the show. For a first year, not bad. I am in the process of planning next years Art Show. This time I will work with my son Philip. He was my right arm on Sunday. He navigated with the Hotel staff, artists, volunteers and guests. He did an amazing job! I am proud of him.
I have a photo shoot on Saturday morning with a young lady that is graduating from Sonoma State. We will be shooting at the "Duck Pond", and then some studio shots in the studio. On Tuesday, I am working with my new little model Rosalia and our theme is "Jasmine and Once Upon A Time". Stay tune for those pictures!

Do you have a "Window of Opportunity" that you would like to share with me? We need to dream big! Waiting to hear from you!
Blessings to you this coming week
Fran Russell