I just returned late last night from four whole days in St. Louis and attending Shutterfest 2016. Sadly, I haven’t changed my mind about attending again. I still won’t be going to Shutterfest 2017. If I ever went back to Shutterfest, it would only be to shoot. Forget about the classroom lecture time!! Forget about the hands-on shoots. I would just schedule my entire time there to utilize the rent-a-human service for shoots. What an incredibly good time this could be just shooting and having fun!
Here is a wide angled, behind-the-scenes, shot of one of the shoots I had fun on. This shoot was a difficult because it was a little on the cold side, there were so many of us trying to get a shot and I’m pretty sure some of us were nearly camera-jacked at the end. But, we survived to tell about it. We had originally planned for this to take place on the top floor of a parking garage, but we couldn’t find one that we could access. We ended up at this building; I’m not even sure which building it is or what street we were on. You can see from the picture below that there is a model and five other helpers. What you don’t see is all the photographers lined up to take the shot. I’m guessing there were at least 12 photographers participating in this parachute dress shoot. I’d like to especially thank Jeff Kolbfleisch (Jeff Allen Studios, Raleigh, NC), Rob Roscigno (Rob Roscigno Photography, NY/NJ) and Ashley Zufelt (A to Z Photography, San Antonio, TX) for taking the time to set up this shot and allowing all the photographers to use their equipment to get a shot. It was a lot of fun… right up until I thought we were about to get mugged.
I participated in another fun shoot with Christine & Jeff some Digismiles in Houston, TX. They demonstrated how to make a homemade fog machine and had some Sweetlights for us to try out as well. The model, Carlee, was the sweetest and most adorable 16-year-old high school senior I’ve ever met.
I did witness a serious lack of judgment and professionalism during one of the shoots I was on. Happily, the incident did not evolve from the shoot I was in, but rather, just to the side. I witnessed three photographers allow their model—who looked 19ish—to stand on the cement rail/wall on the second floor balcony of Union Station. Even Hollywood stunt doubles have safety wires, nets, helmets, fall mats, insurance and whatnot. Besides insurance, I’m sure this girl had none of those things and was perched about 12 feet above a solid cement sidewalk. To add to the stupidity, one of the photographers was wearing a Shutterfest Crew shirt, which I think, should have meant that he should have known better. I regret two things: not getting a picture of this nonsense and not voicing my concern on the spot.
I also regret not shooting more. I packed a lot of my gear which included one camera body, a tripod, light stands, reflectors, shoot-through umbrellas and a few different lenses all the way to St. Louis and took eight shots. Eight! That was a total failure on my part. I should have made more of an effort to shoot.
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I am a San Antonio-based wedding photographer and I cater to outdoor-loving couples who prefer to have all the realness captured on their wedding days. I am the wedding photographer for the outdoor adventurers, the romantics, the laid back, the snugglers, and those who wish to capture all their realness.
I am absolutely in love with capturing the kinds of weddings where there are more hugs than handshakes, the dance floor rumbles all night long, and chairs are pretty much rendered useless after dinner. Whiskey bottles are passed around, most of the wedding party has been best-best friends since kindergarten, Grams is likely to lose her shoes and your partner is much more emotional than you are. These kinds of weddings are my jam!
I started Ata-Girl Photography Co., LLC in 2010. I firmly believe that the unique set of circumstances I have faced in life has prepared me to take a personal and genuine interest in my photography clients. I enjoy documenting the important milestones and captivating moments in people’s lives. I love being a part of people’s journey and consider myself privileged to document their legacies.
I am a WPPI-C certified professional, full-time wedding photographer. I specialize in a 10-day image delivery, same-day prints, same-day slideshows, Italian handcrafted wedding albums and I have a mobile meeting space.
When I’m not behind my camera, you can find me hiking, cycling, backpacking, camping, enjoying water sports, listening to music (Elvis and Prince), hunting for arrowheads, reading audiobooks, occasionally eating a few glazed donuts (my only weakness to sweets) and then re-starting my keto diet about every 10 days. The most important things in life are for me to see my two daughters happy and to create a family history my grandparents and grandson would be proud of.
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